Marijuana retailers in Illinois have already sold more than $1 billion in legal cannabis products during 2024, Gov. JB Pritzker (D) announced on Wednesday, noting that the state reached the billion-dollar mark at a faster pace than it did in 2023.

The total sales amount includes more than $850 million worth of recreational cannabis and nearly $150 million in medical marijuana.

Pritzker said state-legal stores passed the threshold this year on July 1. Last year, they hit the milestone on July 10—a sign, officials said, that the marijuana market in Illinois is still expanding.

The governor said the state’s marijuana industry—which he called “the most equitable cannabis industry in the country”—is “growing and thriving.”

“The increase in total adult-use cannabis sales, combined with the policies my administration is implementing to support communities ravaged by the War on Drugs highlights how this emerging industry is helping us set a national standard in equity and economic justice,” Pritzker said. “Growing sales in 2024 means cannabis tax revenue will continue to play a major role in righting decades of wrongs in the state’s criminal justice system.”

In terms of fiscal years, fiscal 2024—which ended last month—saw more than $2 billion in cannabis sales. In fiscal 2023, that number was $1.9 billion. In 2022 it was $1.8 billion.

Illinois retailers sold just under $2 billion worth of marijuana in calendar year 2023, setting a monthly record in December that still stands.

Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer (CROO)

The new records came after a more minor one set in November: the most-ever marijuana sales to in-state residents, as reported by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

According to the state’s latest press release on Wednesday, out-of-state consumers made up 19 percent of purchases at legal stores during the first half of 2024.

Medical marijuana sales, meanwhile, have gently declined since adult-use stores opened, according to state sales data.

“More and more cannabis businesses opening their doors means more and more unique products for consumers to choose from,” Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer Erin Johnson said in a state press release. “We welcome these new opportunities for ownership and employment to help support individuals and communities across the state in undoing the harms from the War on Drugs.”

Currently, 218 marijuana retailers are licensed with state regulators.

Tax revenue from cannabis sales has now put more than $244 million toward grants to encourage economic development, violence prevention and youth development in areas disproportionately impacted by cannabis arrests and imprisonment, the state said on Wednesday. And through its Cannabis Social Equity Loan Program, “almost $22 million in forgivable loans has been issued to social equity craft growers, transporters, and infusers.”

More of the loans are expected to be awarded soon following an April deadline in the latest round. The state also says more full dispensary licenses will be awarded “to conditional licensees selected in the 2022 and 2023 lotteries as they meet the requirements for full licensure.”

“It is imperative barriers are removed to ensure workforces and industries reflect the diversity of the population who calls Illinois home,” said Mario Treto Jr., secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. “We are already seeing the results of our efforts to accomplish this, and I am excited to see what the future holds for the cannabis industry across Illinois.”

According to state sales data, prices on some adult-use cannabis products have fallen over the past few years, while others have held roughly steady. Most notably, dabbable extracts fell from a high of $125 per gram in March 2020 to about $58 per gram last month. Marijuana flower, meanwhile, has fallen from about $17.50 per gram in early 2020 to $9.20 per gram last month.

Consumer prices on infused edibles and beverages have also steadily declined in recent years, while prices on topicals and RSO—another type of cannabis extract—have bounced along at roughly the same level. Prices on medical marijuana products have been more erratic but have typically followed similar trends.

While adult-use purchases make up the bulk of the overall marijuana market, medical patients disproportionately buy RSO, which is commonly used to treat cancer symptoms and other maladies. Registered patients bought 45 percent of all RSO products last month despite purchasing about 20 percent or less of other product categories.

Officials in Illinois in recent months have eyed making changes to how hemp-derived cannabinoids are regulated, but a proposal to do that failed to make it out of the General Assembly this session.

Separately, state senators earlier this year took up a bill that would have legalized psilocybin and allowed regulated access through service centers, where adults could use the drug in a supervised setting.

The state also gave preliminary approval in March to add female orgasmic disorder, or FOD, as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

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The post Illinois Marijuana Retailers Have Already Sold $1 Billion In Legal Products So Far This Year, Governor Announces appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

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