Illinois Generates $37M in April Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

For the fourth consecutive month, Illinois has surpassed $34 million in cannabis sales, representing nearly $150M in cannabis sales for the four months that the plant has been legal in the state.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent the world into a panic. Over 250,000 have died, over 3.5M have been infected, and economies are tanking due to the lockdown measures being used to prevent further deaths.

In the United States, over 30 million people have now filed unemployment claims, and many have called this economic downturn a second-coming of the Great Depression. However, amid the pandemic and the ensuing panic, the cannabis industry is seeing remarkable dedication from its patrons.

Despite being excluded from the COVID-19 Stimulus package, cannabis dispensaries were deemed "essential" amid the novel coronavirus crisis due to their ability to serve medical patients and those who self-medicate using marijuana. As a result, cannabis dispensaries enjoyed boosted sales while virtually every other industry saw the opposite occur.

The most recent case of the cannabis industry's continued strength amid the COVID-19 pandemic is in Illinois, who legalized cannabis in January of this year.

Illinois, the 11th and most recent U.S. state to have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes has been largely deemed a success story by those within the state as well as onlookers, thanks to the continually high revenue brought by cannabis sales since legalization.

On the first day that Illinois legalized weed, the state generated over $3.2 million in sales. In the first month, the state brought in just shy of $40 million – the second-highest per-capita sales out of any U.S. state, second only to Nevada.

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Since then, each subsequent month of cannabis sales in Illinois has remained strong, with February seeing $35 million in sales, and March seeing $35.8 million. Now, the results for Illinois' fourth month of cannabis sales are in, and things continue to look good for the state and for cannabis legalization more broadly.

For the month of April, The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation reported that adult-use cannabis sales totaled more than $37.2 million. As such, April represents the second-best month of cannabis sales in Illinois after January's, showing that sales of cannabis within the state are remaining relatively stable.

In some respects, the continued success of Illinois' cannabis sales is surprising, given the aforementioned climbing unemployment rates and the general economic downturn that is currently occurring. However, as April is the 4th month of 2020, the entire month was technically 4/20, and therefore it's understandable that cannabis consumption would increase during April above prior months.

Nonetheless, Illinois has generated nearly $150 million in sales from cannabis in just four months of legalization and serves as a powerful reminder of the economic benefits that cannabis legalization can bring about to other states that follow suit. Given the damage brought about by COVID-19 and the resulting preventative measures, economic stimulation should be high up on every legislators to-do list.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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