KEY POINTS

  • The first month of legal marijuana sales in Illinois generated $39,247,840.83 in sales for the state
  • Over $30 million of sales was generated by state residents while out-of-state shoppers accounted for over $8.5 million
  • Dispensaries are still dealing with shortages as a result of high demand from the first month of sales

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said Monday the first month of legal marijuana sales has generated nearly $40 million for the state.

“The successful launch of the Illinois’ legal cannabis industry represents new opportunities for entrepreneurs and the very communities that have historically been harmed by the failed war on drugs,” Senior Advisor for Cannabis Control Tori Hutchinson told reporters.

The department said dispensaries sold 972,045 items for the month of January, generating $39,247,840.83. Illinois residents accounted for $30,611,632.22, while out-of-state visitors accounted for $8,636,208.61.

However, Illinois’ success wasn’t without some problems.

High demand resulted in statewide shortages and forced shops to closely manage their product. This was either through individual buying limits or only selling recreational product two or three days a week.

Hutchinson added to this, saying shortages were partly on purpose “to make sure we made space for new entrants to the market.” Smaller businesses could build up a consistent revenue stream to help expand while cultivators can get a rough idea of how they may need to expand marijuana growth to meet demands.

“We did not want to see a situation where it would be tempting to do the straight math and say how many consumers are there and multiply it straight across,” Chris Lindsey, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project, said. “That’s a brute force way of trying to find the right number. ... If we had let it off the chain, it would have been a lot harder to scale back.”