The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in the state of Illinois has revealed that legal cannabis sales in July 2021 broke the state’s record, with more than $125 million in gross recreational receipts. This figure is about $10 million higher than the state’s prior sales record, which was set in May of this year.
This shows that despite the growing economic uncertainty and the ongoing pandemic, Illinois’ popular marijuana program is continuing to prosper.
Data released shows that last month, consumers bought more than 2.8 million individual marijuana items, which is another monthly record. About 69% of the total recreational receipts come from in-state residents, which equates to roughly $85 million. Out-of-state residents made up the remainder of this amount.
Some attribute the boost in sales to out-of-state visitors who came in high numbers for the Lollapalooza music fest, which took place in Chicago. Retailers in the West Loop and River North reported that during that period their sales increased by over 50%. However, sales to residents of the state also saw a substantial increase, growing by more than $6 million, in comparison with June’s sales figures.
It should be noted that these figures aren’t inclusive of medical marijuana sales as they are tracked separately by another agency.
If sales in the state continue increasing, Illinois may rake in more than $1 billion in adult-use cannabis sales by the end of the year, which would mean a substantial increase in revenue for the state. Last year, the state of Illinois reported $205 million in cannabis tax revenue and sold roughly $670 million in marijuana. A report released in May by the state’s Department of Revenue also shows that Illinois brought in more tax revenue from cannabis than alcohol for the first time in 2021’s first quarter.
Cannabis tax revenue in the state is being put to good use, with state officials having recently placed more than $3 million in marijuana-generated funds into street intervention programs in efforts to decrease violence. Additionally, in January, the state announced that it would be distributing $31 million in grants financed by cannabis tax dollars to communities that were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. These funds are part of the state’s R3 program (Restore, Reinvest and Renew), which was set up under the state’s adult-use marijuana legalization law.
Legislators in the state also recently advanced a bill to the governor’s desk that would create more marijuana business licensing opportunities, which would allow individuals from disproportionately affected communities to take part in the cannabis industry.
The impressive growth seen in the recreational cannabis industry in Illinois is a strong indicator that companies entering the market, including Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF), appear to be in an ideal position to thrive in the state.
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