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Cannabis Sales Surge In Key Illinois and Colorado Adult-Use Markets

July 14, 2020

Recreational cannabis sales in Illinois continued to surge in June, topping May’s totals by $3.3 million and setting a new record high. June sales totaled $47.6 million on 994,545 items sold, also a record. While sales to state residents climbed a steady $1.2 million, sales to out-of-state visitors rose by more than $2 million, reaching nearly $12.4 million. Sales totals for the adult-use market have risen every month since its February low of $34.8 million, having climbed by more than a third since then.

“Deemed an essential service, the cannabis industry has successfully pivoted and refined processes to continue to safely and effectively operate throughout the ongoing Covid-19 crisis,” Illinois operator Green Thumb Industries noted in a statement to SND. “At the same time, new stores such as Rise Niles have opened in the state and operators are working to increase supply. We look forward to the next chapter for Illinois’ cannabis industry with the award of social equity licenses in the near future.”

Green Thumb believes several factors will be critical for the future of the Illinois market. The ongoing pandemic certainly appears to have shifted consumer behavior toward increased cannabis consumption, with sales accelerating in May and June following the implementation of Illinois’ stay-at-home order. Whether these trends will outlive the current crisis remains an open question. Efforts toward increased production by suppliers and a new wave of licensing for social-equity applicants serve as reminders that the Illinois market remains less than a year old and holds significant upside potential, with retail infrastructure still rolling out statewide.

Just yesterday Chicago operator Cresco Labs opened its newest Sunnyside retail location in Illinois, bringing it to eight in the state and 18 nationwide. The location, in South Beloit just south of the Wisconsin border, is Cresco’s largest yet at 7,200 square feet and 35 employees.

Colorado also reported a huge leap in sales for May, the most recently available data. The state logged $149.2 million in its recreational market and an additional $43 million in its medical market. Sales were up 23% from the month before and topped the previous combined record of $173.2 million from last August. In Oregon, meanwhile, sales hit a new record of $103 million on a 15% increase in May, before receding slightly to $100 million in June, which still ranked as the second-largest sales month in the state’s history.—Danny Sullivan

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