Marijuana sales in Illinois continue to grow after a six-month successful run since the program’s launch at the beginning of the year. The state has officially reached half a billion dollars in sales of legal cannabis products.
The state has hit the milestone, making good on a top regulator’s insight about expecting a recession and pandemic-proof cannabis market.
In October, the cannabis sector in Illinois made over 75 million dollars from adult purchases of marijuana products. The figure exceeds September sales by about $8 million and almost double what the sector brought in from the first month of sales. In-state buyers accounted for around $55 million of the sales, with around $21 million in sales coming from out-of-state buyers.
Combining all legal cannabis sales since the year started, Illinois has crossed the half a billion-dollar mark.
While the state may not be able to make up for expenses associated with the impact of COVID-19, the money translating into tax dollars will be impactful in funding local governments and social justice programs.
Speaking about the state’s strong cannabis sales, state officials said while they are delighted about the positive economic growth, their main priority is to utilize the tax revenue to rebuild communities most affected by the drug conflict.
Around 25% of the collected tax money will be channeled towards restorative justice coffers, with other funds also set aside to support mental health and substance abuse therapies.
In May, Illinois announced making available around 31 million dollars in social equity grants for economically distressed communities.
Governor J.B. Pritzker, who pardoned over 11,000 marijuana convictions prior to implementing the state’s cannabis framework, stated last month that he intends to perform more clemency acts in the future.
However, while the latest figures reinforce the position of pro-reform legislators about the sector, a union of state medical societies warns against depending on marijuana legalization to solve economic problems.