New numbers from Illinois state officials indicate that the state has collected more than $1 billion in cannabis sales throughout 2020.
The official number comes in at $1,000,308,800, which includes medical and recreational cannabis sales through November 2020 (official December numbers are expected to bring the number up even higher). According to the Marijuana Moment, there was an estimated $87 million collected in cannabis sales revenue from adult-use cannabis in December alone, which adds up to about $10 million more in cannabis sales last month than in any previous month. Overall, recreational sales have more than doubled since January 2020 when Illinois’ cannabis industry first became legal.
In terms of items sold, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shows that January 2020 sales included 972,045 units sold. December 2020 skyrocketed to the highest number of units sold throughout the entire year at 1,896,941, whereas the months of February, March and April contained the lowest number of units sold in 2020. In total, 14,485,704 items were sold last year.
Illinois’ cannabis program has also made it a point that those who were unfairly impacted by the War on Drugs need to see benefits from the overall revenue collected from cannabis sales in 2020. The state has earmarked 25 percent of tax revenue for restorative justice, and also set aside funds to help with substance misuse and mental health. Additionally, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced more than 500,000 expungements of low-level cannabis convictions from permanent records, and more than 11,000 parsons for cannabis convictions. A state-funded program is also up and running to help those looking to expunge their previous charges.
Despite the pandemic, cannabis numbers continue to climb, and patients and recreational consumers alike are eager to participate in this new and rapidly growing market.