In December 2019, the state of Illinois passed a 600-page bill legalizing the sale and consumption of recreational cannabis for adults over the age of 21. While the bill contained plenty of fine print (including a “no deliveries” clause and strict hours for dispensaries), that hasn’t seemed to deter excited consumers from lining up as early as 6 am to make their purchases. In fact, on the first day of recreational sales (January 1, 2020), customers spent $3.2 million on flowers and cannabis-infused products, nearly tying with Oregon for the largest opening day in the history of recreational marijuana legalization.

Read on to explore four cannabis companies gaining a significant amount of traction since Illinois’ legalization. Selling everything from edibles to softgels, these companies are ones to keep an eye on as the Midwest gains a larger foothold in the legal cannabis marketplace.

1. Cresco Labs
Cresco Labs is one of the largest, vertically-integrated cannabis companies in the field, operational in seven states. The brand controls every aspect of its products, from the cultivation of cannabis to the manufacturing, extraction, and packaging of every one of its offerings. Deeply engaged in its mission to normalize responsible cannabis use, Cresco owns 22 dispensaries around the country, including eight Sunnyside dispensaries in Illinois alone. Offering one of the largest selections of products on the market, ranging from premium flowers to vapes, edibles, and medicinal products, Sunnyside sells not only Cresco Labs’ own products but also products from the most effective and trusted brands in the industry, like Remedi pictured above. Additionally, a portion of each purchase helps to support the SEED initiative, which aims to provide all members of society with the skills, knowledge, and opportunity to work in the cannabis industry.

2. Grassroots
Grassroots describes themselves as “a cannabis company with a soul.” Dedicated to growing and processing the highest quality cannabis in states like Illinois and Ohio, Grassroots also makes an immense effort to educate others about the benefits of cannabis and to deepen life experiences for people from all walks of life. The company sells everything from premium flowers to concentrates, vapes, and edibles in various strains and doses so you can find exactly what you need to feel good. Their website also contains a wealth of knowledge about the effects, medical attributes, and flavors of nearly 50 different cannabis strains, making it an invaluable resource for the newly initiated or skeptical consumer.

3. Equilibria
Chicago-based Equilibria is on a mission to help women live their fullest lives by achieving equilibria — the homeostasis of the female body. The brand uses high-quality CBD in all of its products, grown by a bioscience team with more than 30 years of experience in agriculture. The result is a range of softgels, drops, and creams with 3-4 times the cannabinoids and terpenes versus the average, over-the-counter CBD product. Additionally, every Equilibria member works with a dosage specialist to create a unique routine specific to the individual needs and goals of the consumer. Equilibria is loved and trusted by other major lifestyle brands like Refinery 29, Elle, and Women’s Day.

4. Green Thumb Industries
As one of the largest and most-trusted cannabis companies, Green Thumb Industries is a driving force in what they describe to be the “most profound shift in human well-being, ever.” Believing that everyone has the right to health and well-being, GTI is on a mission to provide safe, therapeutic, and effective medical cannabis nationwide. To do this, the company unites data-driven analytics and leading horticulture techniques in its cultivation facilities; creates consistent and potent products; and provides consumer-focused, award-winning service in their 21 (and counting) Rise retail stores. With three recreational stores recently opened in Illinois and two more coming soon, it’s now easier than ever for consumers to get their hands on their favorite Green Thumb Industries flowers, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and extracts.

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