Illinois Hits New Highs In Cannabis Sales

Illinois generated close to $89 million for recreational cannabis in January 2021, which was a new record for the state.

2021 is shaping up to be a good year for Illinois, which legalized cannabis in January 2020, and continues to set records for adult-use cannabis sales.

The state brought in nearly $89 million this January from adult-use cannabis sales, which is $3 million higher than the previous month, and more than double what was sold in January of last year.

Illinois has seen a steady increase in cannabis sales month-on-month since legalization, and reached its previous highest recorded sales in December 2020 when the state brought in $86 million.

This past month, over $25 million was generated by out-of-state visitors, which is a number that has stayed relatively stable since legalization.

Like several other U.S. states, Illinois has dedicated a portion of its marijuana tax revenue toward communities affected by the War on Drugs, as part of its Restore, Reinvest, and Renew program. The program, also known as the R3 program, requires 25% of marijuana tax revenue to help support affected communities and provide them with financial and legal aid.

Moreover, Illinois expunged the records of half a million citizens in December, which further helps to remove the residual impacts of the War on Drugs.

Illinois's Governor, J.B. Pritzker (D) stated at the time that he is "proud to see this key equity goal in cannabis legalization move forward and I applaud the leaders in the General Assembly, ICJIA, and stakeholders across the state who made this moment possible."

"By awarding this first round of R3 grants, we are taking another important step toward undoing the harms of the past, and Lt. Governor Stratton and I will continue to ensure equity is a top priority as the cannabis program moves forward."

New Jersey, which just enacted its own cannabis legalization, has implemented similar restorative measures, dedicating 70% of sales taxes raised in NJ toward communities of colour that have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs.

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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.