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Illinois Cannabis Sales Break Records, Cannabis Exceeds Liquor Revenue



Since legalizing adult-use cannabis at the start of 2020, Illinois has continued to smash records for sales and tax revenue. Namely, the state is now exceeding $1 billion in total recreational cannabis sales and set a sales new record for the month of April.

The latest data from the Illinois Department of Revenue shows the state recorded nearly $115 million in sales solely in the month of April, which was also the highest-grossing month for cannabis sales since it became legal in the state. For a point of comparison, April 2020 saw $37 million in sales.

If Illinois cannabis sales continue at the same rate, the state is set to surpass $1 billion in adult sales for 2021 alone. 

Newsweek also reports during last quarter, for the first time ever, the Illinois Department of Revenue took in more tax dollars from cannabis receipts ($86 million) than alcohol ($72 million).

The boom even has neighboring state politicians talking. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said last week, “Frankly, I’m kind of tired of talking to the governor of Illinois…he thanks me for having Wisconsinites cross the border to buy marijuana.”

The news comes as the City of Chicago and state of Illinois eye bankruptcy options, facing at least $140 billion in unfunded pension liability, $50 billion in expected retiree healthcare costs, about $3 billion in federal pandemic loans and another several-billion dollars in unpaid costs. 

Illinois has repeatedly attempted to show cannabis revenue in the state is being used well, including their Restore. Reinvest. Renew. (R3) program, which puts 25 percent of the cannabis tax revenue to communities most harmed by the war on drugs.

New York State is looking to increase revenue in a similar way, expecting $20 million in cannabis tax revenue for the 2021-22 fiscal year and pushing that to $245 million by 2024-25.