How Popular Is Cannabis in Illinois? This One Number Provides An Answer

Recently released figures show just how high the popularity for adult use cannabis in Illinois has become – no pun intended.

Illinois started selling legal adult-use marijuana in January 2020. In just one month, the state already had raked in $10 million worth of taxes. To reach that amount of taxes, Illinois dispensaries sold about $39 million worth of cannabis and cannabis-related products.

That’s right – Residents are buying cannabis in Illinois and spending about $1 million every day.

Gov. JB Pritzker estimated earlier that marijuana would bring in about $28 million into state coffers by the end of June. However, as noted in a press release  about the first month tax revenue from the governor’s office, the recently released sales figure “puts the state on track to surpass that estimate.”

Putting Money Back Into Communities

From the outset of the program, Illinois wanted tax revenues to help communities that the War on Drugs harmed the worst. The release outlined how the new tax revenue would go to work.

About 45% of all the taxes taken in through marijuana will get “reinvested in communities disproportionately impacted by the failed war on drugs and used to fund substance abuse and mental health programs,” according to the release.

Other uses of the money include:

  • 10% to pay backlog of unpaid bills (the state has been in a deficit crisis for years)
  • 8% to local governments for crime prevention programs, training, and interdiction efforts involving the illegal cannabis market and driving under the influence of cannabis
  • 2% for a Drug Treatment Fund to fund education campaigns and support data collection and analysis on the public health impacts of legalized recreational cannabis

The Numbers From Other States

Worldwide, the amount of dollars spent on cannabis tripled between 2014 and 2018 from about $3.4 billion to $10.9 billion, according to Motley Fool. Experts on Wall Street believe the number will reach $200 billion by 2030.

In the United States, sales have been high in many states, including those with only medical marijuana sales. According to Motley Fool, the 2019 projected sales numbers for the highest states were as follows.

  • California – $3.1 billion
  • Colorado – $1.6 billion
  • Washington – $1.1 billion
  • Florida – $1 billion
  • Michigan – $1 billion
  • Nevada – $770 million
  • Oregon – $752 million
  • Arizona – $705 million
  • Massachusetts – $484 million
  • Pennsylvania – $298 million

While Nevada is only the sixth highest, it may have the highest per capita spending on marijuana by 2024, according to Motley Fool. Also, the number from Michigan included medical marijuana, not adult-use marijuana. Adult-use sales did not start there until December.

Clearly, the number of the marijuana curious consumers increases across the country. As the popularity of cannabis in Illinois shows, demand remains high in states willing to offer a legal supply.

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