MILAN, Illinois- When recreational marijuana becomes legal on January 1st, customers won't be able to buy marijuana "flower" at Nature's Treatment of Illinois, the marijuana dispensary in Milan.
Flower is the green, smokable cannabis plant (as opposed to cannabis edibles or vape cartridges.)
"We will have product available, it's just not going to be the flower that I think a lot of people were hoping for," said Shannon Ballegeer, the dispensary's manager.
Ballegeer said cannabis cultivators, who provide the marijuana flower to dispensaries, have been struggling to keep up with demand.
She said when the bill legalizing recreational marijuana was signed, cultivators rushed to expand their facilities.
"A lot of their construction will be done in January or February. So, once they get those plants in the ground it will take a couple months for them to get everything packaged and on our shelves," said Ballegeer. "So, we are kind of looking at maybe April or May before we see an adequate amount of flower on coming through,"
Despite the state-wide cannabis flower shortage, medical patients will still have access to cannabis flower.
"The state requires that we have a supply of cannabis for the medical patients before we sell to the recreational buyers," said Ballegeer. "We are making sure we have those staple products that a lot of (medical patients) people have been using available for them to purchase."
Medical Marijuana Patient Rico Hopson, who uses marijuana to help survive degenerative disk disease (DDD), said recreational marijuana legalization has not had any negative impacts on him as a medical marijuana patient at Nature's Treatment of Illinois.
"I think everybody should be able to get it, regardless of if it's medical or if it's recreational, I think everybody should be able to have access to it," said Hopson.
Recreational customers at Nature's Treatment of Illinois will still have the ability to purchase cannabis products, despite the shortage of flower.
"Were going to have edibles, cartridges, there will be a few concentrates available," said Ballegeer.
She said customers should expect the dispensary to run out of their initial products by the end of the first week of sales.
"Were pretty stocked up but, its pretty normal for most dispensaries to run out within those first couple days," said Ballegeer.
Leaders at Nature's Treatment of Illinois - Milan expect crowds to begin to form around midnight on December 31st, 2019.
The first sale can legally happen at 6:00 a.m. on January first.