If you’re wanting to light up marijuana on January 1st, you may have to wait. State suppliers are saying the supply might run short of the demand once adult-use cannabis becomes legal. According to the Chicago Tribune, nearly every state that ed allows recreational marijuana had some shops run out or run low in the first days of sales. In Colorado, some customers were greeted with signs telling them to check back the next day. In Nevada, higher-than-expected sales in the first week left shelves near empty.
Many of the state’s 21 growing facilities are expanding capacity, but construction takes time. Furthermore, the state so far has licensed only seven of them to grow recreational weed, and it takes a cannabis crop about three months to grow.
Additionally, the number of patients in the state’s medical marijuana program roughly doubled in the past year, and continues to grow. Those patients will be shopping at the same stores as recreational customers. Illinois law requires dispensaries to make sure they have enough cannabis for medical patients or they will face a $10,000. The result could be that dispensaries ration their products to minimal recreational sales or require appointments for purchases.
Eventually, nearly 946,000 Illinois residents — more than 9% of people over age 21 — could become cannabis consumers, according to a study commissioned by Illinois lawmakers and conducted by consulting firm Freedman and Koski earlier this year. Out of the roughly 114 million visitors to Illinois each year, almost 11 million are expected to buy weed. By comparison, only 51,000 residents bought medical cannabis last month.
Jacksonville, along with several other communities in the state, still have to decide if they’ll allow recreational sales.