$37.2 million in recreational pot sales in April
Recreational-use customers spent more than $37.2 million on legal marijuana in April, the second highest-earning month for dispensaries since sales of the drug became legal in January.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation reported 818,954 items were sold during the 30-day period, for an average sale amount of $45.50 per purchase.
Illinois residents spent $29.7 million, while $7.5 million worth of items were sold to out-of-state visitors, according to the state figures.
Marijuana dispensaries were deemed essential businesses when Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March.
"Our top priority is to ensure consumers are safe when they go to a dispensary to purchase cannabis," said Toi Hutchinson, senior adviser for cannabis control to Gov. Pritzker. "The steps we've taken to increase social distancing at dispensaries are accomplishing that, while also enabling this new industry to continue to grow. As such, curbside pickup will remain an option for medical cannabis users to obtain the product they need through May 30."
In January, dispensaries received $39.2 million in sales. In February, those figures had dipped to $34.8 million, but rebounded to $35.9 million in March. There are also several more dispensaries selling for recreational use now.
It won't be known how much the state made from marijuana taxes and sales taxes until later this month.
Tax revenue from the recreational sales fund a variety of initiatives. The state's general fund gets 35%, a community development revitalization program for areas affected by the criminalization of marijuana gets 25%, while 20% goes to substance abuse and mental health programs and 10% goes toward the state's bill backlog. Local government law enforcement agencies receive 8%, and 2% goes to public education and analysis of marijuana legalization.