Illinois marijuana dispensaries set record for sales in May

  • The COVID-19 outbreak did not slow adult-use marijuana sales in Illinois as buyers spent more than $44.3 million in May on products, the most since legalization began in January.

    The COVID-19 outbreak did not slow adult-use marijuana sales in Illinois as buyers spent more than $44.3 million in May on products, the most since legalization began in January. Associated Press File photo/April 2, 2020

 
 
Updated 6/11/2020 1:51 PM

Illinois marijuana dispensaries recorded their best month of sales collectively in May after more than $44.3 million was spent on products last month.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said Illinois residents spent $34.1 million on recreational marijuana, while out-of-state buyers spent $10.2 million.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Almost 1 million products were purchased, according to the state. The average sale in May was $44.80.

May's sales figures outpaced January's sales by more than $5 million.

Adult-use recreational marijuana sales became legal in January and lines formed around many of the dispensaries throughout the state on the opening day of sales.

Earlier this month, the state reported it has received more than $40 million in marijuana taxes and associated sales tax revenue from the legalization of recreational marijuana in the first four months of operation. Tax revenue figures from May won't be available until early July.

Also, municipalities that have allowed dispensaries to open in their jurisdiction can begin charging local taxes next month as well.

Marijuana dispensaries were allowed to stay open as essential businesses since the COVID-19 state of emergency was declared while many other businesses were shuttered throughout the state.

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The state had anticipated $28 million in tax revenue from legalized marijuana in this year's budget, so the extra could help alleviate some of the shortfalls expected from other state revenue sources due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Taxes are generated from sales at the more than 50 dispensaries throughout the state currently operating, and from cultivators.

The state taxes marijuana based on its potency, ranging from 10% to 25%. Money generated from the state's marijuana tax will go into multiple coffers. 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.

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