A report recently released by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shows that in 2023, recreational marijuana sales surpassed $1.6 billion. This figure is its highest amount since the state legalized adult-use marijuana in 2019.
The drug’s legalization came after the state’s General Assembly approved the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which was enacted in 2020.
In addition to being the 11th state to legalize adult-use marijuana in the United States, Illinois was the first state to adopt a regulatory system for marijuana testing, cultivation and sales via a state legislature. The state of Illinois is also the first to legalize recreational marijuana via a measure that also includes a social-equity program.
The growth in sales recorded in 2023 was driven by the significant increase in recreational cannabis products sold, which topped 42 million. This is roughly a 15% increase from the number of recreational cannabis products sold in 2022.
Out-of-state customers bought products worth $408 million while residents in the state purchased products worth $1.2 billion in 2023.
Despite the promising figures, a drop in sales to out-of-state customers was recorded. Authorities in the state attributed the drop to legalization of the drug in neighboring states, including Missouri and Michigan.
According to the state’s department of revenue, roughly $417 million in sales tax revenue was collected. These funds are allotted to the Cannabis Regulation Fund.
A 6.25% retailers’ occupation tax is imposed on all marijuana sales in the state, in addition to taxes levied at the county and municipal levels.
In a statement, Governor JB Pritzker stated that his administration had built the most accessible marijuana industry in the country by putting equity first. He also noted that their work would continue to provide opportunities for communities across the state, repair wrongdoings of the past and create a more prosperous future.
Currently, 177 recreational marijuana dispensaries operate in Illinois.
Of the total number, five are located in the Springfield area. Maribis has two locations on Denver Drive and Lindbergh Drive while Ascend Cannabis also has two locations, one off Dirksen Parkway and another in downtown Springfield. The latest location, situated on 3600 S. 6th Street Road, launched in September 2023.
The city council of Springfield also approved the permits for 2 new locations in 2023. These locations are set to launch this year. Shangri La plans to build a facility on a lot along Dirksen Parkway while Bolden Investments III will open a store on Prairie Crossing. Boden is based in Maywood.
As more licensed cannabis companies such as Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) consolidate their operations in the state, sales are likely to keep growing as more customers learn to rely on the high-quality products that reputable companies bring to the market.
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