KEY POINTS

  • Illinois posts $3.17 million in sales from over 77,000 transactions at 37 marijuana dispensaries
  • State profits going back into social programs
  • Illinois governor pardoned over 11,000 misdemeanor, non-violent marijuana charges

Illinois posted more than $3 million in sales of legal marijuana on its first day, state officials said Friday.

The state’s 37 dispensaries officially opened for business on Wednesday, running through 77,128 transactions during the first day of recreational marijuana sales. Illinois Senior Adviser for Cannabis Control Toi Hutchinson said during a press conference Thursday the traffic translated to $3.17 million in sales that, in turn, go back into state programs.

“The amazing thing about that is that there's a significant portion of these dollars that go directly into this community reinvestment fund, so we can continue to rebuild communities that have been hardest hit by the war on drugs,” Hutchinson said. “So sales are great but let's never lose sight on the impact that we're having on families around this state.”’

She went on to compare the legalization of marijuana in Illinois to “the end of prohibition” and the start “of how we hope to grow a new industry here.”

Illinois became the 11th state to legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana to people ages 21 and older in June. The measure was approved by the Legislature, making it the first not to be enacted by way of referendum.

State residents now can purchase 30 grams of marijuana, five grams of concentrate and 500 milligrams of THC while nonresidents can buy half that. Medical marijuana users are allowed to buy seed and grow five plants at home, as long as they are kept out of public sight.

The law allows Gov. J.B. Pritzker to expunge nonviolent, misdemeanor marijuana convictions, opening the door for more than 115,000 convictions to be overturned. Pritzker started on Tuesday by issuing 11,017 pardons.

“We are restoring rights to many tens of thousands of Illinoisans,” Pritzker said in a statement. “We are bringing regulation and safety to a previously unsafe and illegal market. And we are creating a new industry that puts equity at its very core.”

medical recreational marijuana and cancer risk medical recreational marijuana and cancer risk Photo: cheifyc - Pixabay