Sales of adult-use, recreational cannabis grew at a much faster clip this calendar year. According to data from the Illinois Department of Financial and Profession Regulations, statewide sales reached the $1 billion mark in August of 2022, with $129 million during that month alone. In 2021, total sales didn’t cross the billion-dollar threshold until October. Since dispensaries first opened in 2020, sales have topped $3 billion.
During the previous fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, total sales hit approximately $1.5 billion, generating nearly $450 million in tax revenue for the state. Local municipalities received $146.2 million of the revenue during the same period. 25 percent of the tax revenue is required to be invested in supporting economically distressed communities that have been disproportionately impacted by drug criminalization.
Despite the growth in revenue, there has still been significant controversy from many business owners over the Pritzker Administration’s rollout of so-called “social equity” licenses. Several businesses, industry organizations, and minority advocates held a press conference during the week saying that the program is plagued by red tape that is keeping new businesses from opening. You can find out more on the controversy here: https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/minority-marijuana-license-holders-call-on-illinois-officials-to-loosen-ownership-regulations