Marijuana Sales in Illinois Continue to Reach New Highs

Illinois exceeded two particular records for the month of April, hitting an all-time high of $115 million in cannabis sales, as with tax generated from cannabis sales surpassing the liquor industry for the quarter.

Here at The Green Fund, we've covered Illinois' legalization of adult-use recreational cannabis quite closely, since the state became the 11th to legalize recreational cannabis in the U.S. in January of 2020.

On the first day of legalization, Illinois generated $3 million, and by the end of the first month, the state had brought in $40 million. A year later, Illinois brought in $89 million in January 2021 – more than double the sales generated just a year prior.

The state has continued to enjoy record-high sales, this time seeing $115 million for the month of April 2021, bringing the state above $1 billion in cannabis sales since legalizing the plant at the start of last year.

To put that figure in contrast, Illinois brought in $37 million during the same month a year prior, which is less than a third of what the state brought in this past month.

Of course, April is always expected to do well given that the unofficial stoner holiday, 4/20, falls in April and sales often climb as a result.

Though perhaps more interestingly, Illinois' tax revenues for cannabis sales surpassed those of the liquor industry, with cannabis bringing in $86 million and liquor bringing in $72 million.

This is a first for Illinois and may indicate a turning of the tides, away from alcohol and toward recreational marijuana. And, as we've often said, the economic benefits displayed by states like Illinois when legalizing cannabis will serve as a useful incentive for other onlooking states to follow suit.

With Illinois set to bring in over $1 billion in cannabis sales this year, in addition to the growing research surrounding cannabis and acceptance of the plant into the mainstream, 2021 will be a massive year for the cannabis industry.

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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.