Illinois Town Considers Drive-Thru Dispensaries

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Naperville, a western suburb of Chicago, could approve drive-thru windows at marijuana dispensaries when the town council votes on cannabis legislation Dec. 17.

In support of the idea, council members likened the dispensaries to pharmacies, some of which have drive-thru windows.

Drive-thru dispensaries are a rarity in the medical marijuana world. One of the only such businesses in existence is in Olympia, Washington. According to an employee of the dispensary – called Sonshine Organics – the drive-thru window caters to patients with limited mobility.

Drive-thru windows also ideally grant each patient a level of anonymity when purchasing medical marijuana.

However, it’s questionable whether the process of checking medical licenses and selecting product can be handled in a fast and effective manner with patients planted firmly in their cars. Drive-thru windows work well in fast food and even liquor transactions, but neither of those require the same level of scrutiny as purchasing medical marijuana.

As with many practices in the marijuana industry, time will tell whether this is a valid business model.

Council member Steve Chirico said the market should determine whether dispensaries will have drive-thru windows. He faces opposition from at least five other council members.

Illinois legalized medical marijuana this year and the state will roll out its program on Jan. 1.