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Illinois roll-out ranked second per capita in the nation

Thursday, Feb 6, 2020

* Bloomberg

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - The Real Captain - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    And think. That roll out was curtailed by, at least downstate, barely any flower or at times product at any time, and only a small hand full of locations. This was like the soft opening. The grand opening will be when all the stand alone recreational locations open later this year.


  2. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 9:50 am:

    A much better metric would be how much tax revenue did legalized marijuana generate in the month of January?


  3. - Unpopular - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 9:52 am:

    Sad that such a public health disaster is being celebrated. 50 years from now these headlines will look like the ads where doctors endorsed cigarettes in the pages of sports illustrated.


  4. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 9:56 am:

    Look, I’m just happy the state launched a new program and it wasn’t a total disaster. #StateBoardOfElections #SecretaryOfState


  5. - Vote Quimby - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 9:57 am:

    That editorial was classic old-school thinking…. like marijuana suddenly appeared on the scene this year. I’m guessing cannabis will last longer than print media, since it predates it.


  6. - truthteller - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:02 am:

    wait until ALL the dispensaries are open and an unfettered supply is established. Downstate Illinois woefully behind and that will take time but I can see $1 BILLION or more a year rolling into additional Illinois tax revenue. Haven’t even approached the “tourist” impact between conventions and out-of-staters coming in. I disregard all the special-interest criticisms of Illinois Recreational Pot for what it is. Lost of jobs and income to cops. prison guards, lawyers, Big Pharma, etc.

    About time we entered the 21st century


  7. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:09 am:

    Great news. Job creation, economic growth, revenue, etc, done the right way, instead of places like Wisconsin, where workers rights are diminished but massive tax breaks are given to super-rich corporations like Foxconn.

    The next phase is probably the most critical, the social equity ownership rollout. It’s the first of its kind and has to be done well. If done right, it should be wonderful.


  8. - Birds on the Bat - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:10 am:

    ==Look, I’m just happy the state launched a new program and it wasn’t a total disaster. ==

    Not to mention the DCFS/HFS fiasco. We do have our priorities.


  9. - AnitaThrowaway - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:10 am:

    Adult use recreational was approved on November 8 2016 in Nevada by a 54–46 margin. Possession and consumption by adults became legal on January 1, 2017, and on July 1 sales of recreational cannabis began.

    Seems to me like the time between the passage of the laws and when rec stores could get up and running was about the same. However, it seems like Nevada’s medical program was bigger and better equipped to be able to make the transition from medical to rec. I’m sure once IL gets up to speed we’ll be one of, if not THE top producing state.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:16 am:

    Vegas has shops open real late or 24 hours, so that helps drive up sales revenue. Hopefully Chicago can get its casino and boost up tourism, which would help the marijuana market.


  11. - The Edge - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    Man, we like our weed.


  12. - Red Raider - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:25 am:

    I assume the revenue per capita in NV was driven mostly by out of state visitors to Las Vegas buying there. They wouldn’t count toward the “capita” part but contributed to the “revenue” end of the equation.


  13. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:25 am:

    You may want to fix the typo in the headline. “…per capital…”


  14. - Charlie Wheeler - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:31 am:

    Point of Information

    The Illinois lottery was NOT created to fund education, as the Kankakee Journal editorial mistakenly states. The lottery was approved as part of the RTA package to provide a replacement revenue stream for state funds that would help subsidize mass transit in northern Illinois.

    Charlie Wheeler


  15. - 17% Solution - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:32 am:

    == Sad that such a public health disaster is being celebrated.==
    I don’t recall the coronavirus being celebrated.


  16. - JS Mill - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    =Sad that such a public health disaster is being celebrated. 50 years from now these headlines will look like the ads where doctors endorsed cigarettes in the pages of sports illustrated.=

    When will you press for the prohibition of booze and cigarettes? What is the name of the pac you created?

    The thing you just said is what people are saying about the war on drugs.


  17. - revvedup - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 11:07 am:

    Equating the two is impossible; especially after Illinois stripped education funding out of the budget once the Lottery took off. Schools then became reliant on property taxes, so there was never increased funds for education. Terrible reporting.


  18. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    - like the ads where doctors endorsed cigarettes -

    Can you really not get it through your thick noggin that cigarettes are freakin legal?


  19. - Jocko - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    ==Sad that such a public health disaster is being celebrated==

    Reefer Madness called. It wants it’s hysteria back.


  20. - Stark - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 11:22 am:

    More like “roll-up” instead of “roll-out”. /s


  21. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 11:33 am:

    Community reinvestment. Social equity.
    Global warming.
    Opioid crisis.
    Marijuana legalization.
    Immigration reform.
    Democratic primaries.
    Elimination of the electoral college.

    What am I missing?


  22. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 11:52 am:

    =What am I missing?=

    A coherent thread to whatever that word jumble was.


  23. - Pundent - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 12:01 pm:

    =What am I missing?=

    Your meds?


  24. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 12:35 pm:

    The answer is, ” what is the solution to all that is wrong in America”.


  25. - Pundent - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 1:03 pm:

    I’m not sure what problem global warming is intended to fix, but ok.


  26. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    “What am I missing?”

    Reads more like “what was added”…

    If you buy it at an authorized dispensary, you won’t accidentally get any adulterated by whatever was in yours.

    – MrJM


  27. - anon2 - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 7:32 pm:

    The impact on public health is certainly one legitimate way to evaluate commercial legalization. We can’t do that in one month or one year, however.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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