Weedman keeps calm | Cannabis | Chicago Reader

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Weedman keeps calm

Cannabis delivery chugs along amid the pandemic.

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FRANK OKAY
  • Frank Okay

At the end of 2019 the Reader profiled Weedman, who runs a local cannabis delivery business. Back then the biggest threat to his livelihood was the impending legalization of recreational pot in Illinois. Weedman wasn't worried, though, and even expected his business to improve as weed use was normalized and people tired of paying top dollar and standing in line at dispensaries. Now, as a threat to life itself hangs in the still city air, Weedman's still pretty zen. I checked in with him about what it's been like to deliver cannabis in the time of coronavirus.

Before we get into more recent developments, how has business been going since the beginning of January? Has legalization of recreational cannabis affected you much?

It was fine. I noticed some of the customers who were regulars I didn't see for a couple of weeks. But then they were back.

Why do you think they came back?

Money. It's cheaper. It's more convenient. [Dispensaries are] only a big deal for the people who are afraid of the man. Otherwise everyone else has been smoking pot for years. Some people go to the dispensary and they also call me. Even though I've got a good selection they can get certain things they like at the dispensaries, the flower options might be a little more directed toward them, maybe a strain they're more attuned with.

OK, so then how has the coronavirus outbreak impacted your work?

It's been pretty busy, especially before [the quarantine]—when people realized it was for real they decided to stock up. This week it hasn't been as busy as it was last week, but I was hoping that that would happen. It would mean that they're good, they don't need to be calling me every other day. But there might be something that might change in the near future . . .

Has your supply chain been affected?

The same way people are stocking up on TP, people are stocking up on bud. I know people and we're ready to last a while but that's why it's important to grow your own stuff. I'm not worried just yet.

Are you worried about your own health as you're out there delivering?

Yeah, just like everybody else that's out there delivering. I take precautions. I haven't been doing contact. I'm not able to hang out. I've been like, "Hey come down, pick up your stuff." Everything we handle is pretty sterile but obviously it's not like 100 percent sterile. You can only cover the sun with your finger a little bit. [When I see customers] I've been asking if they're OK and healthy but every day that passes by we learn that it doesn't even matter if you're sick or not. You could be a carrier and be completely fine. We're sanitizing products, [wearing] gloves, masks if I'm going off into a building. All of our stuff is packaged and clean.

Do your customers seem stressed?

People are smoking a lot. If you're bored and if you're stuck at home you're just gonna puff and puff. There's definitely more consumption from some people and I'm sure it has to do with them being stressed or bored.

Are you seeing any difference in the types of products customers are going for?

Definitely more edibles. They're finding the power of edibles. They last longer.

What do you recommend to people as they're dealing with this unusual level of stress?

My favorite strains are generally the chill-out ones. There's a saying: "Sativa to help me with the things that I can change and Indica to help me accept the things that I can't."

Isn't it more likely that cops will catch you since you're asking more people to come meet you outside?

Cops are cops but there's tons of delivery drivers out there right now. Are you gonna stop all of them and check them? I'm sure it's a good time right now for cops to not be doing anything, even less than before. I'm pretty sure they don't want to encounter anybody. They're still human.

Do you think COVID-19 will affect the weed business in unexpected ways?

I've always known that the weed business has an expiration date. The government could legalize everything and once you can travel over state lines people like me will be bumped off the market. Here in the States everyone suffers from some type of PTSD. There'll be people saying they "went through the corona scare of 2020, let me get high!" Once it's federally legal everyone that's got a big name and money will take over. Once the dispensaries can have their own delivery service then why would you call me? But maybe not. We'll see. We'll run it till it's over.   v

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