Nearly 60 million people visit Chicago every year, and with cannabis now legal for all adults many tourists want to know how, when, and where to enjoy the city’s finest weed.
How to find legal weed in Chicago
Download the Leafly app for Android or iPhone. It will point you to the legal cannabis stores near you, and allow you to check out what’s on the menu and where the best deals are.
There are no cannabis stores in the Loop thanks to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who banished them from the city’s downtown core. Fortunately, there are plenty of stores just an L or an Uber away.
Some of the most popular and convenient stores are in the city’s River North district, including Ascend by MOCA, Sunnyside, and Verilife.
A little further out, Nature’s Care Company, Dispensary 33, and Zen Leaf are in the West Loop, while Curaleaf in Old Town is literally based on Weed Street.
Chicago’s weird weed rules
The cannabis laws in Illinois are a little different than in other legal states. The main thing to know is that Illinois residents can legally possess up to 30 grams of flower (a little more than an ounce), but non-residents can only possess up to 15 grams (that’s about four eighths).
Smoking cannabis in public is illegal. So if you consume, consume with discretion.
What to do in Chicago while high
Nearly all the major tourist destinations are open to your own level of elevation, including Wrigley Field, the Art Institute, The Bean, the original Chess Records storefront, Second City, and so much more. But if you’re looking for a deeper level of 420-friendliness, these local Chicago hosts will show you what makes the city truly special.
Chi High Tours
If you’re looking to discover Chicago with a 420-friendly guide, James Gordon and his Chi High Tours offer a number of high-culture choices. Gordon’s guides and guests cruise the city in luxury (Mercedes or Cadillac, depending on the tour), exploring Chicago’s rich past and present.
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Among their offerings are:
- Classic Cannabis Tour: This a 3-hour tour of Chicago’s top landmarks, with a pre-tour edible and dispensary stop, naturally.
- Jazz Culture & Cannabis Tour: Dive into Chicago’s rich musical history with a tour centered around the Bronzeville and Hyde Park neighborhoods.
- Beer & Bud Tour: Go behind the scenes at one of Chicago’s leading craft breweries, and learn about the connections between beer and cannabis.
- Comedy & Cannabis Tour: Tour the city, enjoy some cannabis, and catch the evening comedy show at The Laugh Factory.
Canna Café Chicago
If you’ve been following the news regarding delta-8 THC, you know it comes with controversy as to how legal it is. That said, delta-8 is legal in Illinois for now, and the Canna Café is making the most of it.
Enjoy infused pizza, wings, and burgers in this West Loop eatery, along with specialties such as Canna Kush Fries. Get more info, including hours of operation and how to make reservations on their Facebook page.
Wake N Bakery
Located in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood, Wake N Bakery also specializes in delta-8 and CBD-infused goods. The menu includes quesadillas, wraps, muffins, brownies, and made-to-order cakes. The scones are a must-have item.
When you go, give yourself plenty of time as you can often find lines waiting to get in, especially when the Cubs are in town. (Wrigley Field is three blocks away.) Get more details including hours, menu, and specials on their website.
Puff Pass & Paint
Want to participate in a cannabis-friendly, all-inclusive art class in Chicago?
Join up to 20 students for a 2-hour session in a laid-back atmosphere, creating various pieces of art as you enjoy weed. If you prefer a private session, you can opt for that as well.
Having started in Denver, Puff Pass & Paint prides itself on being the first class of its kind. Profiled by CNN, Time, and the New York Times, this is an activity worth checking out while you’re in town. Get more info here.
Beyond Chicago: More 420-friendly options in Illinois
Cannabis is legal statewide, and there are interesting options beyond the big city. If you’re interested in roaming further south, check out these 420-friendly spaces.
Sesser, IL: Luna Lounge
If you have time for a road trip, check out this cannabis lounge recently opened in Sesser, in downstate Illinois. Luna Lounge is Illinois’s first official cannabis consumption club (as in delta-9 THC). Servers help customers select consumption devices and other accessories, some of which you can purchase onsite.
Luna Lounge is strictly BYOW: Bring your own weed. The nearest cannabis stores are two Consume Cannabis Co. outlets about 35 miles south, one in Carbondale and another in Marion.
Luna provides takeout bags so you can bring home any leftovers. The club has plans to feature musical acts, comedians, dancers, and even aerial performers, so this place is a must-visit if you’re in the area.
Galena, IL: Aldrich Guest House
Another road trip option is this 420-friendly bed & breakfast in Galena, Illinois, a little town in the state’s northwest corner about 15 miles from Dubuque, Iowa.
The Potting Shed is a tiny house on the property of the larger Aldrich Guest House. Separate from the main building, you can enjoy the amenities you would expect in a premium B&B.
As Chicago continues to reopen, look for city festivals and outdoor events to return. One to keep an eye on is Dispensary 33’s Waldo’s Forever Fest. Co-sponsored by Do312, this street festival was inspired by a group of high schoolers who met after school to find weed at 4:20 pm.
The cannabis-themed fest typically provides food, music, speakers, and opportunities to learn about weed. Follow their page for when the festival comes back in person.
As Illinois continues to grow as a major cannabis hub, expect to see cannabis tourism expand in 2022 and beyond.