LOS ANGELES — With Gov. J.B. Pritzker pushing state lawmakers to legalize recreational adult use of cannabis, I checked out what the future could hold if street-level retail marijuana product stores ever take root in Illinois.
I’m about to enter a MedMen shop, the one at 110 S. Robertson, not far from Beverly Hills.
The store stands out on this trendy block because of its bright red color schemes and welcoming picture windows providing a look at the rows of sleek counters inside.
Think of a minimalist hipster Apple Store translated from stark white everywhere to a shop with bursts of robust red and wood accents.
Several MedMen staffers are outside the door, all in red shirts. They are hanging out for a reason. The legal age to buy marijuana in California is 21 and if you are underage, you are not allowed in the place.
One of the red shirts politely asks me for an ID before I enter, which I don’t mind showing, though its been awhile since I’ve been carded. I was put off a bit when the staffer took a photo of my driver’s license. I was told none of my personal information was going into a database with the intent only to keep MedMen out of trouble.
Interior of hip-looking MedMen store near Beverly Hills. The legal age to buy marijuana in California is 21 and if you are underage, you are not allowed in the place. Photo courtesy of MedMen
One of the messaging campaigns of MedMen centers on trying to normalize purchase and use of the once-forbidden weed.
A billboard I spotted later for MedMen on Santa Monica Boulevard for the West Hollywood store said “Welcome to the New Normal.”
The “new normal” I saw was what, to me, was an