Illinois Cannabis Sales Surpass $37 Million in April


Sales of adult-use cannabis are soaring in Illinois, even as residents remain under a coronavirus-induced stay-at-home order that was recently extended to May 30 by Governor Jay Robert “J.B.” Prtizker

Recreational marijuana sales topped $37 million in April, the second-best month since adult-use shops opened their doors in January, according to data from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

More than $147 million worth of recreational cannabis was sold through the first four months of the year, state records show. 

In just a few months, Illinois’ recreational cannabis market has gone from illegal to essential. However, dispensary operators have had to implement new measures in order to keep consumers six feet apart while shopping. 

In an effort to help ensure adequate social distancing, Illinois has permitted curbside pickup for medical cannabis patients through May 30.

“Our top priority is to ensure consumers are safe when they go to a dispensary to purchase cannabis,” said Toi Hutchinson, a senior advisor for cannabis control to Gov. Prtizker. “The steps we’ve taken to increase social distancing at dispensaries are accomplishing that, while also enabling this new industry to continue to grow.”

Illinois' adult-use cannabis sales nearly surpassed $36 million in March, and approached $35 million in February, according to IDFPR data.

Additional insights on the Illinois cannabis market from research firm BDSA (formerly BDS Analytics) show that statewide sales -- including those from medical dispensaries -- topped $188 million through the first three months of 2020. Nearly $110 million of those sales occurred at adult-use stores.

According to BDSA, concentrates accounted for 43% of adult-use sales in the first quarter ($47.7 million). Flower products accounted for 28% ($30.8 million) of all transactions, while edibles made up 22% of sales ($24.3 million).

By comparison, Colorado dispensaries hauled in more than $451 million during the first quarter, however there are roughly 9 times more recreational and medical dispensaries in the Centennial State.  

BDSA counts 54 adult-use dispensaries and 55 medical dispensaries in Illinois, compared with 587 adult-use licenses and 432 medical licenses in Colorado.

Nevertheless, BDSA believes the Illinois cannabis market will grow to become one of the largest in the U.S. and reach $1.5 billion by 2025

“Its central location and large population –– in addition to the lack of adult-use programs in neighboring states — makes it very attractive to multi-state operators and investors,” BDSA co-founder and CEO Roy Bingham said via a press release.

It's worth noting that Colorado cannabis sales, which topped $1.6 billion in 2019, are expected to surpass $2 billion in 2024.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, up to 75 new conditional adult-use cannabis licenses were supposed to be issued by May 1, however Pritzker recently signed an executive order suspending that requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognize that countless entrepreneurs were looking forward to May 1 and the next step it represented for Illinois’ adult use cannabis industry,” Hutchinson said. “However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused delays in the application review process. This executive order will help ensure that we continue to build out this industry in a deliberate and equity-centric manner.”

The IDFPR said it would announce a new date for issuing licenses “as soon as feasible.”

Press releases with additional information are linked below.

BDSA: Illinois Cannabis Sales Exceed $188 Million in Q1 2020

IDFPR: Pritzker Administration Announces Fourth Month Sales Totals for Adult Use Cannabis

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