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Illinois Adult-Use Market Off To A Strong Start

January 7, 2020

Illinois’ recreational market rocketed out the gate when it launched last week with $3.2 million in first-day sales. The state’s 40-some dispensaries (11 of which are in Chicago) completed over 77,000 transactions on New Year’s Day, averaging approximately $40 per sale. Inevitably, second-day sales were lower but still impressive: $2.2 million on more than 56,000 purchases.

The figures dwarf Michigan’s first day of sales last month, which netted approximately $221,000 from 2,200 transactions. However, while experts do expect Illinois to be a larger market over the long term, much of the initial difference is attributable to Michigan’s “soft-launch” approach, with only three stores being open statewide on day one.

The avalanche of sales in Illinois almost immediately spurred worries of a cannabis shortage in the state. Sales figures aren’t yet available for Thursday, Friday, or the weekend, but reports of wait times and store lines exceeding five hours have been prevalent. Among the outlets in Chicago, almost all closed on Sunday and many stayed closed on Monday in an effort to conserve inventory and maintain a stockpile for medical patients. Demand is expected to continue to ramp up over the next two years as supply and prices stabilize and more consumers enter the legal market.—Danny Sullivan

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