Illinois’ Cannabis Industry Experiences Historic High Sales In November

Illinois’ adult-use cannabis retailers reached a historic high in November, setting a record for the most legal cannabis sold primarily to in-state residents in a single month. Overall sales, including purchases made by out-of-state customers, ranked fifth-highest monthly total since weed shops opened in January 2020.

Breakdown of November’s Cannabis Sales

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation reported total recreational cannabis sales amounting to $139.1 million for the month. According to Marijuana Moment, this figure includes $105.5 million in sales to Illinois residents and $33.6 million by visitors, exclusive of taxes.

Moreover, state-licensed retailers sold more individual adult-use cannabis products in November than ever before, with a total of 3.77 million items.

While the latest figures for medical cannabis sales in November are still pending, October’s sales reached $26.2 million, including $12.4 million in dry flower and $13.8 million in concentrates and infused products. This data comes from the Medical Cannabis Patient Program.

Despite these impressive numbers, Illinois consumers are facing higher cannabis prices compared to many other states with legal markets. Governor J.B. Pritzker acknowledged the high prices but emphasized the industry’s consistent expansion and the substantial sales to out-of-state customers.

2023: A Year Of Record-Breaking Growth

State officials also highlighted the “unprecedented” surge of state-legal cannabis sales in fiscal year 2023. This growth is partly attributed to the opening of 28 new retailers and total retail sales surpassing $1.5 billion.

The fiscal year 2023 brought approximately $451.9 million in revenue from legal cannabis to Illinois, outperforming alcohol revenue, which was around $316.3 million. 

  • Illinois sets a new record in legal cannabis sales, reaching $139.1 million in November, with a notable rise in sales to state residents
  • State’s cannabis market sees notable growth in diversity, with a rise in minority and women-owned businesses
  • Small craft cannabis growers face challenges despite Illinois’s booming legal market.

Advancing Social Equity in Cannabis Licensing

To address the impact of the War on Drugs, Illinois issued 200 conditional licenses and established a Social Equity Criteria Lottery. This initiative aims to prioritize individuals disproportionately affected by drug laws, with over 2,600 applicants for 55 new social equity dispensary licenses. Most of these new licenses were allocated in Cook County, the state’s most populous region.

A Boost To Diversity And Challenges For Small Growers

The industry has also seen a notable increase in minority and women-owned businesses since 2020. Black-owned companies now account for 27% of the market, Latino/a or Hispanic-owned companies for 5%, Asian-owned companies for 3%, and women-owned businesses make up 16%.

However, small cannabis growers are facing challenges, struggling to thrive even with state aid.

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