We at Illinois News Joint spend a lot of time discussing the future of the Illinois cannabis industry. One aspect we agree on is that in the near future, a dispensary in the Prairie State will have to be more than just a retail store that sells cannabis products and geared more toward entertainment, a convenient gateway atmosphere, and new experiences. Owners of the OKAY Cannabis dispensaries in Illinois are putting this notion to the test. Along with the already existing bakery, café, and cocktail bar, OKAY Cannabis recently opened an adjacent consumption lounge.
OKAY Cannabis is situated in the heart of historic restaurant row, at the corner of Lake Cook Road and Milwaukee Avenue (781 North Milwaukee) in Wheeling. The OKAY Cannabis Consumption Lounge offers a culinary experience with a selection of light bites, baked goods, and more. The consumption lounge is adjoined to a bakery and cocktail bar, where guests can continue their experience, mingling over brunch and happy hour, while enjoying the establishment’s array of offerings either indoors or on the welcoming patio.
“By combining a top-of-the-line cannabis dispensary with a bakery and cocktail bar, we are creating a space where people can come together, meet like-minded individuals, and enjoy their interests and preferences,” said Scott Weiner, the co-founder of The Fifty/50 Group and operator of OKAY Cannabis. “We take pride in pioneering this new business model and actively engaging with the community.”
The consumption lounge is open daily and reservations are required but may also be made at the dispensary at the time of purchase. The lounge televises the Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, and Bears games, and offers movie nights and other new services to come. The consumption lounge will soon be hosting cannabis events and is currently scheduling private parties for an array of new services and themes. OKAY Cannabis is the only dispensary in Illinois with a full kitchen and a liquor license.
To ensure compliance and maintain a safe environment, the lounge enforces mandatory reservations and requires the consumption of cannabis purchased from the dispensary on the same day. Each reservation is limited to 90 minutes, with an additional 30-minute cool-down period before departure. Alcohol and outside paraphernalia, food, and drinks are not allowed in the cannabis consumption lounge.
“For many customers, finding a safe space to consume cannabis can be challenging, especially for renters who may face consequences for using cannabis at home,” Weiner said. “We understand this concern and have made it a priority to create a supportive, relaxing, and educational environment for anyone trying cannabis for the first time.”
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