Illinois has sold over $ 1 billion worth of marijuana so far this year, state officially announces


Illinois officially surpassed $ 1 billion in adult marijuana sales in 2021, a major economic milestone since the state launched its retail market last year.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) reported on Tuesday that there were $ 123,375,372 in recreational cannabis purchases in October, bringing the total to $ 1.12 billion for the year so far.

Adults bought 2,757,354 marijuana products last month, with most sales ($ 81,212,423) from state residents and the remainder ($ 42,162,949) from visitors from outside the ‘State.

Via IDFPR.

The $ 123 million haul is below the state’s peak sales of $ 127,794,220 in July – which officials attributed in part to a boost from the Lollapalooza music festival – but it was the second most important month since the start of sales in January 2020.

This is the eighth consecutive month that adult-use marijuana sales have surpassed $ 100 million in the state.

The new figures do not include sales of medical cannabis, which are tracked separately by a different agency.

The president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce predicted in May that retailers would sell more than $ 1 billion in adult marijuana sales in 2021, and they’ve now accomplished that with two more months in the pipeline. year.

The level of the cannabis trade means a significant increase in revenue for the state. Illinois sold about $ 670 million worth of marijuana last year and collected $ 205.4 million in tax revenue.

The state generated more quarterly tax dollars on marijuana than on alcohol for the first time earlier this year, the Illinois Department of Revenue reported in May. From January to March, Illinois generated about $ 86,537,000 in tax revenue on adult marijuana, compared to $ 72,281,000 in alcohol sales.

In July, state officials committed $ 3.5 million in cannabis-generated funds to efforts to reduce violence through street intervention programs.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) is starting to get “tired” of hearing about these sales figures, he said in April, joking that Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) “always thank me for bringing people in Wisconsin across the border to buy marijuana” since the neighboring state has no legal market.

Illinois officials have stressed that taxpayer dollars from all of these sales are being put to good use. For example, the state announced in January that it was distributing $ 31.5 million in marijuana tax-funded grants to communities that have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

The funds are part of the state’s Restoration, Reinvestment, and Renewal (R3) program, which was established under the Illinois Cannabis Legalization Act for Adults. 25% of the marijuana tax money should go into this fund and used to provide disadvantaged people with services such as legal aid, youth development, community reintegration and a financial support.

The awarding of the new grant is not all Illinois is doing to promote social fairness and redress the harms of the criminalization of cannabis. Pritzker announced in December that his office had processed more than 500,000 write-offs and pardons for people with low-level cannabis convictions on their files.

Likewise, a state-funded initiative was recently put in place to help residents convicted of marijuana obtain legal aid and other services to have their records erased.

But promoting social equity in the state’s cannabis industry has proven difficult. Illinois has faced criticism from lawyers and lawsuits from marijuana business applicants who say authorities haven’t done enough to ensure diversity among business owners Of the industry.

Pritzker signed a bill in July that aims to build on the state’s legalization law by creating more commercial licensing opportunities for cannabis to help people from disproportionately affected communities enter in the marijuana industry. Regulators have since held a series of lotteries to award additional dispensary licenses, but the losing companies have since filed legal challenges against the process.

Meanwhile, a House committee approved a resolution earlier this year that broadly condemns the war on drugs, calling it “America’s longest and costliest war and ultimately a complete and disgraceful failure.” .

Marijuana markets are booming in the United States

Recreational marijuana sales in Maine broke another record in August, surpassing $ 10 million for the first time since the adult market launched in October 2020.

Arizona brought in about $ 21 million in tax revenue on medical and adult marijuana in July, state officials recently reported on a new webpage that makes it easier for people to track it. evolution of the industry.

California collected about $ 817 million in tax revenue from adult marijuana in fiscal year 2020-2021, state officials estimated in August. That’s 55% more cannabis revenue for state coffers than that generated in the previous fiscal year.

Recent scientific analysis of sales data in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington state found that marijuana purchases “increased more during the COVID-19 pandemic than in the previous two years.” .

In July alone, at least three states recorded record sales of recreational cannabis. The same goes for the Missouri medical marijuana program.

Michigan’s marijuana sales broke another record in July with more than $ 171 million in cannabis transactions, according to data from the state regulator. There were $ 128 million in adult sales and $ 43 million in medical cannabis purchases.

Throughout the pandemic, many states have allowed cannabis retailers to remain open – governors and regulators in several markets declaring marijuana businesses essential services – and some jurisdictions have issued emergency rules allowing curbside pickup, delivery services or other more relaxed policies to make social life easier. distancing.

Meanwhile, New York officials predict that marijuana tax revenues will help keep the state budget afloat as cigarette sales continue to decline over the next several years. But retail sales have yet to launch.

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