The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has announced that statewide adult-use cannabis sales in January totaled $39.2 million.
Dispensaries across the state sold 972,045 items over the 31-day period. That includes sales to Illinois residents that totaled $30.6 million, while sales to out-of-state residents totaled $8.6 million.
At the Greenhouse dispensary in Morris, things have slowed a bit since the initial rush of buyers, hundreds of whom lined up on Jan. 1 when recreational sales became legal.
Greenhouse Education and Outreach coordinator Rick Niksic said sales were actually higher on Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 than they were on Jan.1.
„Maybe [people] just held back and didn’t want to stand in line, although we did have lines on the second and third day,” he said. „Plus there were longer hours rather than just the holiday hours that we had.”
In the first month at the Greenhouse, the dispensary made more than 8,000 transactions, with the average transaction just under $100.
Niksic said that while sales are up, which also means additional jobs for staff and security at the Greenhouse, the focus at the Morris dispensary and around the state remains on medical patients.
„They’re really putting the emphasis on the medical side, and making sure that there are supplies for people with medical cards, making sure that they get priority treatment and they’re not waiting in line,” he said. „They just show their medical card and they come right in … we’re trying to really accommodate them.”
If a medical cannabis user feels their needs are not being met, they may file a complaint via the IDFPR website, at www.idfpr.com/Admin/Complaints.asp.
A portion of every cannabis sale will be reinvested in communities that state officials said have been harmed the most by the failed so-called war on drugs.
“The successful launch of the Illinois’ legal cannabis industry represents new opportunities for entrepreneurs and the very communities that have historically been harmed by the failed war on drugs,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor for Cannabis Control to Gov. JB Pritzker. “The administration is dedicated to providing multiple points of entry into this new industry, from dispensary owners to transporters, to ensure legalization is equitable and accessible for all Illinoisans.”
Niksic said one interesting fact in the first month of cannabis legalization is the number of people filling out applications for their medical cards.
„One of the things that rose out of this that really surprised me is that, for the month of January, the state received more applications for medical cannabis than they did last January,” Niksic said.
He added that he didn’t want to speculate too much on the reason for that, but said it could be due to anything from people wanting to try cannabis for medical issues such as pain management, to reduced taxes on the medical side.
„The taxes on the recreational side are anywhere from 20% to 40% depending what community you’re in, and the taxes on medical are 2%. So, it maybe just boils down to that,” Niksic said.
In January, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) released applications for cannabis infuser, craft grower and transporter licenses. The applications are available on the Department’s website, www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Plants/Pages/Adult-Use-Cannabis.
IDOA will begin accepting completed applications on Friday, Feb. 14 and all cannabis infuser, transporter and craft Grower applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Social equity applicants will receive additional points on their application and are eligible to receive technical assistance, grants, low-interest loans and fee reductions and waivers.
In the coming weeks, IDOA will be partnering with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to provide information workshops across the state to answer questions and assist interested applicants.
Additional information about the timing and location of workshops will be available in the coming days.