Illinois dispensaries sold nearly $11 million in recreational cannabis in its first week of sales, according to reports from Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Office last night. Customers made more than 271,000 individual transactions. While the business is booming in Illinois, some dispensaries are having to close their doors this week due to a shortage of product.
The Illinois marijuana industry simply didn’t have enough time to accommodate the number of customers it was expecting. Pam Althoff, Chief Exuctive of the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois says it was an expected issue that will soon be resolved. “Customers understand that we are having some issues with a flower shortage. That’s to be anticipated as we didn’t obtain permission to grow recreational cannabis until August. Obviously, that’s a very truncated time period to produce a crop and then have it harvested, dried, and packaged. People seem to understand that relatively well, and were very agreeable to try a different method of consumption. They were every agreeable to keep their purchase of a flower product so other people would have access to it. I anticipate that, too, will not be an issue by April or May in the State of Illinois at all.”
Another factor at play is an increase in the medical marijuana patient count, which has roughly doubled in the past year. Illinois law requires dispensaries to make sure they have enough cannabis for medical patients.
The State of Illinois concluded its first round of applications for new dispensaries last Thursday with more than 700 applicants seeking 4000 licenses. 75 new dispensaries will be awarded licenses on May 1st.