According to a Department of Financial and Professional Regulation report from the state of Illinois, cannabis sales in the state this past month of August have yet again broken another monthly record.
The report which was released on Tuesday showed how marijuana sales in the state had been increasing each month, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Last month, consumers bought more than 1.3 million cannabis products whose value was calculated to be about $64 million. Out-of-state sales (to visitors) were recorded to be roughly $17 million. The previous sales record was $61 million, which was recorded in July.
Officials from the state have stated that despite the upward trend in cannabis sales, their primary focus at the moment lies in using the tax revenue generated to reinvest in neighborhoods and communities that have been the most affected by the drug war.
The state had announced in August that since marijuana retail sales began in January, it had recorded $52 million in tax revenue within the first six months of the year. 25% of this revenue will be directed to a social equity program.
A senior cannabis advisor to Gov. Jay Robert Pritzker, Toi Hutchinson, stated that the main aim of the state was not to make money but to help people, supporting the communities that had been most affected by the drug war.
Earlier in May, the state had reported that it was availing $31.5 million in marijuana tax revenue for restorative justice grants.
All things considered, making sure the market is equitable has not been a smooth ride. Dozens of individuals who had applied for social equity licenses recently sued regulators. They were denied the opportunity to take part in a licensing lottery as they reportedly had issues with their applications. Despite the state saying that they would approve 75 applicants, only 21 individuals qualified. Some critics protest that the resources one requires in order to turn in an acceptable application only bars those who actually need these special licenses from accessing them.
On the other hand, data of out-of-state sales supports the Governor’s prediction that marijuana tourism would reinforce the state’s reserves. Before its implementation, the State had pardoned about 11,000 individuals who had marijuana convictions.
In the State of Oregon, officials have also noticed a similar upward trend in the rise of sales amid the coronavirus pandemic. Data that was released earlier this year show that adult-use marijuana product sales had risen by 60%.
This record-breaking sales report only goes to show that the cannabis industry, including The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (CSE: WTER) (NASDAQ: WTER), was always right in asserting that the economic benefits of a legalized marijuana industry would be far-reaching.
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