Illinois per-capita recreational pot sales topped every state but one in its debut month, according to an analysis this week.
The state logged $39.2 million of adult-use recreational marijuana sales in January, or $3.07 in sales per resident, according to New Frontier Data, a cannabis research company. Those are the second-highest sales per capita during the first full month of legalization among eight other states where adults can buy pot for recreational use. Nevada was the highest at $8.88 per capita in July 2017, a figure bolstered by tourism, according to Kacey Morrissey, New Frontier’s director of industry analytics.
Illinois’s performance is “typical for first month’s sales,” Beau Whitney, executive vice president and senior economist at New Frontier, said in an email. “Illinois is fairly strong out of the gate.” […]
About a quarter of the state’s take will go toward community reinvestment partly to reverse some of the challenges from past drug policy, according to Hutchinson. Collections may also help chip away at Illinois’s $6.2 billion of unpaid bills and $137 billion of pension debt. Tax collections on legal pot are forecast to jump from $34 million in 2020 to $375.5 million in 2024, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.
* Kankakee Daily Journal…
While legal cannabis is off to a good start in some ways, it’s too early to declare success for a couple reasons.
First, the state needs to disperse the money so it will go where it can do the most good. That sounds easy enough, but do you remember when Illinois rolled out the lottery in 1974? It was supposed to produce a bonanza in school funding. Nearly 50 years later, funding public schools remains an area where the state misses the mark.
And newspapers wonder why they’re losing relevance.