Illinois adult-use cannabis sales increase 80 percent in September, on-track to surpass $1 billion this year

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Adult-use cannabis sales in Illinois soared to $121.7 million in September. In comparison with sales revenue recorded in August, this is a 0.2 percent decrease. 

On the plus side, September’s sales figures represent an 80 percent increase from the same time period last year.

Up until this point of 2021, Illinois adult-use cannabis sales have amounted to a whopping $997 million. Contrastingly, figures recorded during the same period in 2020 were 131 percent lower. 

This substantial increase in recreational cannabis transactions could be attributed to the fact that a growing number of non-residents are purchasing from the state’s legal market. 

In fact, analysts confirmed that non-residents accounted for 33 percent of legal sales this year — one of the highest percentages recorded since the program first launched in January 2020.

In May, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce predicted that, for the entirety of 2021, retailers would shift adult-use cannabis stock with a value eclipsing $1 billion. 

Impressively, October’s sales figures will validate and celebrate that prediction transpiring into reality. The figures are expected to be posted at the beginning of November.

Seventh consecutive month that adult-use cannabis sales in Illinois have surpassed $100 million

Perhaps one of the most promising takeaways from Illinois’ recreational cannabis sales figures is that October marks the seventh consecutive month that adult-use cannabis sales exceeded $100 million across the state.

For the month of September, in-state cannabis consumers forked out $81,686,864 on cannabis purchases from in-state residents. What’s more, a total of $40,030,844 was spent on adult-use cannabis in Illinois by out-of-state visitors.

These figures come courtesy of the IDFPR. Conversely, for both in-state and out-of-state buyers, the state’s recreational cannabis sales totaled $67,648,362 in September of last year.

It’s important to note that the latest figures are not inclusive of medical cannabis sales; a completely different agency tracks sales in the medical cannabis category.

Plenty of tax dollars are being generated through Illinois’ adult-use cannabis market

Aside from the obvious economic boost that Illinois gets from its adult-use cannabis market, the state’s influx of tax revenue should also not be ignored. 

In 2020 alone, Illinois raked in approximately $670 million from cannabis transactions. Of that amount, $205.4 million was accumulated in tax revenue.

In a groundbreaking moment that occurred last quarter, Illinois earned more tax dollars from the legal cannabis industry than alcohol for the first time ever. This is based on a report by the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Between January and March, Illinois generated $86,537,000 in adult-use cannabis tax takings. Comparatively, liquor retailers turned over $72,281,000; these figures are approximated.

Illinois officials attest to the fact that the tax dollars generated from cannabis sales are being used in a good way. In July, state officials funneled $3.5 million into street violence-prevention programs. The money was earned through the state’s legal cannabis industry. 

Moreover, Illinois State announced in January that it would start scattering $31.5 million among communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. The offering comes as part of the state’s Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) program.