Cannabis Sales Surpass $1B In Illinois

Combined adult-use and medical cannabis sales topped $1 billion in Illinois, with recreational sales nearing $670 million and medical sales reaching $331 million. Adult-use sales launched in the state on Jan. 1, 2020.

December 2020 recreational cannabis sales were the highest recorded in the state all year – $86.86 million in all. The previous record was October’s $75.3 million.

In all, Illinois residents bought the bulk of cannabis in the state throughout the year – $496.4 million – compared to $172.6 million in purchases from out-of-state resident sales. There are currently 82 dispensaries licensed to sell cannabis to adults in the state. The average price per ounce in the state was $352, according to priceofweed.com.

Through November, the state Department of Revenue reported $150 million in adult-use derived taxes.

State officials on New Year’s Eve announced the expungement of half a million cannabis-related criminal records, a benchmark that was not expected – or legally required – to be completed until 2025.

It’s worth noting that none of the state’s licensed cannabusinesses are majority-owned by a person of color. In June, regulators indicated that social-equity licenses would be awarded in July, but those licenses did not materialize as 2020 came to a close.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, voters in six of seven Chicago suburbs approved ballot questions allowing legal cannabis sales in 2020. Those approvals, though, do not include provisions for social-equity licensing. Cresco Labs, a multi-state operator, last week became the first company to open 10 dispensaries in the state, according to Biz Journals, highlighting the outsized role big corporations have in the Illinois cannabis industry.

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