Colorado, Illinois and Ohio post record-breaking monthly sales

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

The coronavirus pandemic has created widespread economic loss across many in the United States; not to mention the rest of the world. Nonetheless, the same cannot be said for the cannabis industry, which is flourishing in both newly-launched and established legal states. 

In fact, fresh data has indicated a spike in cannabis sales across three particular states: Colorado, Illinois and Ohio. Based on these reports, cannabis appears to be a pretty lucrative sector for combatting the virus-stimulated recession.

Colorado’s cannabis sales surpassed $200 million in July 

Cannabis consumers have been able to get their hands on legal weed in Colorado since Amendment 64 was passed by voters on November 6, 2012. Moreover, way back in the year 2000, voters approved medical cannabis with the passing of Amendment 20. So far this year, Colorado’s cannabis sales have exceeded $1.2 billion.

Although the state’s cannabis industry is well-established, this past July marked the first time that combined monthly sales ever surpassed the $200 million mark. A report published by The Denver Post revealed that recreational and medical cannabis stores pulled in total revenue of $226.4 million in July; a 13.8 percent increase from the month prior. 

Recreational cannabis sales in Illinois neared $64 million in August

This past August, the nascent adult-use cannabis market in Illinois experienced its proudest moment. It was during this busy month that sales came close to $64 million; far outweighing July’s record-breaking sales by a healthy $3 million. 

These figures came courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, which also reported that recreational cannabis stores in Illinois dealt with more than $360 million in transactions since adult-use sales commenced in January.

Ohio’s medical cannabis sales hit $21 million in July

Another record was set for a legal cannabis market in the U.S. recently. Crain’s Cleveland Business reported that Ohio’s medical cannabis sales topped $21 million for July the highest monthly sales figures for the state since January 2019. 

So far this year, state officials have logged $120.1 million in total cannabis sales; transcending the $56 million in total sales that were raked in for the entire of 2019.

Some U.S. states are considering cannabis legalization to recover from COVID-19

Despite strong sales in legal cannabis markets across the U.S., the persisting coronavirus pandemic is certainly creating a dent in the economy. Lack of business activity has left numerous U.S. cities and states suffering ongoing revenue losses. On the plus side, industry experts feel that legal weed could be the silver lining. 

“There’s a simple and effective solution for states and cities to help cover their huge budget shortfalls after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides: legalize recreational sales of [cannabis],” said DataTrek Research’s Jessica Rabe during a recent interview with reporters.

Similar discussions have been ongoing in states like New York, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. Furthermore, back in May an industry group known as The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) asked seven governors to legalize cannabis as an aid to coronavirus-related economic recovery.

At the current time, 11 U.S. states have legalized recreational cannabis, with an additional 15 having decriminalized the plant in one way or another and 33 having already welcomed legal medical cannabis markets.