All the marijuana sold in Illinois must be grown in the state, and less than two weeks into legal weed sales, customers are realizing growers’ limits.
Recreational marijuana sales started off strong on Jan. 1, but within days, some of the 37 dispensaries selling weed to the public had to stop because they ran out.
Many of the state’s 21 grow facilities are expanding capacity, but construction takes time, as does growing the marijuana. It can take four or five months for a plant to be ready to harvest, undergo processing and reach a store shelf.
Here’s how it’s grown.
It’s as sophisticated as winemaking
The marijuana sold in dispensaries is different than black market weed of the past. Growers play with genetics, creating strains that may be high in THC, a psychoactive compound, and low in CBD, a non-psychoactive compound, or vice versa.
They can play up certain flavors or smells, and tinker with desired effects.
Once the weed is grown, harvested and dried, there is the extraction process, the first step in making marijuana-infused edibles, concentrates, bath bombs and more. The process is sophisticated, precise and scientific. Companies want to ensure customers have the same experience every time they eat a gummy or square of chocolate.