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Illinois Retail Revenues Approach $20 Million In Less Than Two Weeks Of Sales

January 21, 2020

Recreational cannabis sales in Illinois neared $20 million in less than two weeks weeks since legalization, according to the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Sales from January 1 to January 12 totaled $19.7 million on nearly 500,000 transactions.

After a robust first day that earned $3.2 million on 77,000 transactions, the next three days hovered around $2 million with transactions numbering at the mid-50,000 level. The following week saw consistent mid-week sales of around $1.3 million with around 30,000 transactions recorded. Sales rose to $1.6 million on Friday and Saturday on approximately 42,000 transactions, before plummeting by roughly half on Sunday and Monday.

Illinois made a number of key decisions in its regulatory system that has allowed its market to get off to a faster start than other states. Chief among these was allowing its existing medical cannabis retailers to transition to recreational sales, and permitting existing medical growers to begin production for recreational use. In another move expected to bolster the young market, on January 7 Illinois’ Department of Agriculture opened the application process for cannabis infuser, transporter, and craft grower licenses, which will likely see more boutique products enter the scene.

To put Illinois’ rollout in perspective, one need look no further than neighboring Michigan, which launched its adult-use program at the beginning of last December. In the six weeks from December 1 to January 12, Michigan amassed $10 million in sales—half of what Illinois achieved in one-third of the time. Sales for the week of January 6-12 totaled $1.8 million, slightly more than Illinois has averaged on a single Friday. It remains to be seen how these figures will change once Detroit’s moratorium on sales expires at the end of the month; three retailers have already been approved to open within Michigan’s largest city and 36 dispensaries have been licensed statewide.—Danny Sullivan

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