Marijuana shortages in southern Illinois result in protection for medicinal patients

Thrive Dispensary adjusts their hours of operation

Illinois recreational marijuana update

ANNA, Ill. (KFVS) - Long lines and limited supplies have marijuana dispensaries and state leaders taking steps to protect medicinal marijuana patients.

Thrive is a medicinal and recreational marijuana dispensary with locations in Anna and Harrisburg. Both locations have dealt with long lines and now they’ve had to restrict some of their hours.

A sign hanging at both locations lets customers know they’ll only be selling recreational pot Thursday through Sunday, with medical sales Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Greg Lambert, the Director of Security and spokesperson for the Thrive, said this issue with shortage is not new.

“It is a requirement of the law that we keep and maintain stock available for medical patients," Lambert said. “That was determined based upon inventories previously. And with the cultivators reducing their grow areas to expand, that was a shortage before recreational came along.”

Many dispensaries across Illinois are seeing a shortage of product, especially in certain parts of the plant.

“Flower is something that people want to see in the recreational, the flower is just isn’t available," he said. “The other products like vapes, and edibles are [available]. It’s holding down our sales, that limited stock but again we expect it to quickly take care of itself and get up to full speed, so we are not seeing a major impact from it."

Thrive receives deliveries every week, however, they also have to limit the product customers can purchase.

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the shortages are expected during the beginning stages.

The department’s spokesperson Joe Kienzler said, “Legalization was the first step in a multi-step process and product shortages were expected to occur as they have occurred in every other state that has legalized cannabis.”

While supply may be an issue, the Pritzker administration and the General Assembly took steps through the legislation to protect the supply for medical cannabis patients, IDOA said.

The Department of Agriculture recently released applications for craft grower licenses, which will expand the amount of cannabis dispensaries.

As for Thrive, they are in the process of a building a Mt Vernon facility. They hope by late February they will have enough product to be back to their normal hours.

Officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health said, 2,573 people applied for medical cards between Jan. 1, when recreational sales started, and Jan. 17.

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