Dispensary 33 in Andersonville will partner with local businesses for the first day of marijuana sales in Illinois. Credit: Courtesy Dispensary 33

ANDERSONVILLE — Dispensary33 is partnering with neighboring businesses Wednesday to help Chicagoans ring in the new era of legal pot.

The dispensary at 5001 N. Clark St. is expecting major crowds on Wednesday, the first day of recreational cannabis sales in Illinois. To help accommodate the expected rush of customers, a number of nearby businesses are partnering with Dispensary33 to offer a waiting space, weed-themed events and specials.

Large crowds are anticipated for the first day of recreational cannabis sales, so Dispensary33 will operate a pager system similar to those at restaurants, said Scott Cramer, marketing coordinator for the dispensary. Customers will check in outside the dispensary and receive a text when they are ready to be served. Chicago-based band White Mystery, which also operates a production group, will be leading the check-in process. 

SoFo Tap will serve as the official waiting space for the dispensary. The bar, down the street from the dispensary at 4923 N. Clark St., will host a movie marathon and cannabis-themed trivia on Wednesday.

Dark Matter will also have a pop-up at the bar, serving coffee samples and handing out branded lighters. SoFo Tap will have on $5 special SweetWater Brewing’s 420 Strain G13 IPA, which is meant to have the aroma of the “legendary G13 cannabis strain,” according to the brewery.

SoFo Tap will open at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

Meeting House Tavern, 5025 N. Clark will also open at 9 a.m. Wednesday and serve as a waiting space for Dispensary33 customers. The bar will also be selling the SweetWater 420 strain for $5, will have brunch specials and will be hosting games upstairs.

Ridman’s Coffee, 4758 N. Clark St., will be serving cold brew coffee for the stoner-friendly price of $4.20 on Wednesday. Hutch American Kitchen + Bar, 1477 W. Winnemac Ave., will host a “brunch & blaze” beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Other neighborhood businesses partnering with Dispensary33 include Dollop Diner and Hot G Dog. Dispensary33 will hand out coupons for the partnering businesses, Cramer said.

Dispensary33 opened in 2015 as Chicago’s first medicinal cannabis dispensary, and it recorded the first legal sale of cannabis in Chicago. It will seek to record the first recreational cannabis sale in state history, opening at the earliest allowed time of 6 a.m. (A number of Chicago-area dispensaries will open at that hour, too.)

In anticipation of recreational pot sales, the dispensary has doubled its counter space and added staff. Its inventory vault is “filled to the brim” for Wednesday, with the dispensary offering cannabis flower, pre-rolled joints, vape pens, edibles and even cannabis topicals, according to the dispensary.

Dispensary33 — named for 1933, the year the prohibition on alcohol was lifted — is not new to putting on neighborhood events. The business is the primary organizer behind The Waldo Forever Fest, which has brought as many as 6,000 people to Clark Street on April 20 — 4/20.

The dispensary is estimating that as many as 1,000 people will walk through its doors on Wednesday — and it has a plan to service as many customers as it can.

“Our day on 4/20 is so high volume, we almost view that as practice,” said Abigail Watkins, Dispensary33’s marketing and outreach manager.

For more information on the Wednesday event, click here.

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