Six months into 2020 and there is still not enough smokeable flower available for purchase at dispensaries to meet consumer demand. 

The principal executives from Quincy-based Herbal Remedies, Thrive Dispensary (with two locations in Southern Illinois), and NuMed (locations in Chicago, Champaign, and East Peoria) participated in a July 8th webinar hosted Grown In. All report difficulties keeping the kind bud in stock for growing bases of medical and recreational customers. 

“There’s nothing worse than opening and then closing a business because you don’t have product,” said Gorgi Naumovski, who continues to manage Thrive’s Illinois dispensary locations after he sold the company to Massachusetts-based MariMed last October. “The consumer does not always understand that we want to serve them but it is not always our choice. It’s a daily struggle.”

Christine Wildrick of Herbal Remedies said she will not open a second location until she is confident that enough product will be available for her medical and recreational customers. 

“With the existing supply, we are limited to what we can make available,” she said. 

NuMed, which in May began operating a cultivation center in downstate Hillcrest acquired from Pharmacann, is now making deliveries to Herbal Remedies and other independent dispensaries across the state, said its principal executive Keith McGinnis. Still, like other independents NuMed – which is changing its name to New Era – also struggles to maintain enough flower for medical and recreational customers. 

“Since taking over Hillcrest, we are adding a number of different tools that will help and produce more cannabis, he said. “But from a supply standpoint, we are still facing the same issues as everyone else.” The panel also discussed how they are managing banking, payments and customers from out of state. View the entire discussion here.

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.