Southern Illinois liquor stores and cannabis dispenaries deemed “essential,” still having to adapt

Pandemic impacts liquor and legal pot business

CARBONDALE, Il. (KFVS) - With a struggling economy, Southern Illinois businesses deemed “essential” are still having to adapt to new changes every day.

Chan Patel is a local business owner with four liquor stores and a gas station.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, some businesses experienced mandated closures, but Patel’s businesses are allowed to stay open. However, he said that does not mean they are not suffering.

“We are not doing so great,” Patel said. “We just have to hang in there and see what happens in the next couple weeks.”

In his store, Old Town Liquors on the Carbondale strip, Patel said an hour could pass without a customer visiting the store.

Currently, the business has temporary hours with limited staff. “We are just going to continue to keep modify our hours according to what the market is out there so we can still control our payroll and still make it through this time” Patell said.

Another business considered essential is medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries, like Harbory in Marion.

Their general manager Lori Ellis said many of her customers are in need. “I would say every two out of three people that we see on the recreational side are still using it to treat medical conditions,” she said.

The Harbory team takes necessary precautions to keep business running. They encourage curbside ordering for medical patients, and online ordering for recreational. Ellis said, “We are feeling pretty good about it. Of course we will be glad when things get back to normal and we get past this.”

Patel has high hopes for all businesses. “I’m hoping everybody does ok, especially business-wise, because once it goes down it’s hard to get it back up.”

Please check the companies’ websites for updated hours of operation for open essential businesses.

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