First Month Pot Sales Total Near $40 million

By Benjamin Cox on February 3, 2020 at 2:23pm

Illinois cannabis dispensaries sold nearly $40 million in cannabis in just 31 days, an average of $1.3 million a day since adult use went legal on January 1st. The total is 30% higher than the $24.1 million Nevada achieved in its first month of recreational cannabis sales in 2017.

Numbers provided by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office show since the adult-use cannabis market launched, 972,045 items sold for $39,247,840.83. Of that, Illinois residents spent $30.6 million and out-of-state residents spent $8.6 million.

While official tax revenue numbers from those sales aren’t yet available, if the average tax was 35%, the total revenue could be more than $13 million. The bulk of the tax revenue the state gets will go to the state’s general revenue fund. A quarter of every tax dollar generated from recreational cannabis will go to the newly created Restore, Reinvest and Renew or R3 program with grants going to community groups from certain areas of the state that have been labeled as “opportunity zones.”

The rest of the tax money will be divided up with 20% going to substance abuse and mental health services, 10% to the state’s backlog of unpaid bills, 8% to local law enforcement and 2% for public cannabis education and safety campaigns.

Beginning July 1st, municipalities that approved a local sales tax can receive up to 3% in recreational cannabis taxes to spend as they see fit.

The first month of sales saw some problems with limited supply and few dispensaries around the state being open leading to long lines and some stores closing during normal business hours. However, some within the industry say that many of the supply issues will be mitigated when the first crop of 2020 is harvested in the Spring as well as craft grow licenses getting issued in the next roll out phase by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.