soon as Illinois legalized recreational marijuana, hundreds of people
braved the January weather to wait in line in front of specialized
stores. One of the very first people past the doors on day one was
Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana
who bought a tin of edible gummies. In the first five days of legal
pot sales, dispensaries have sold more than $10.8 million worth of
it, the office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced,
and more than 270,000 individual purchases were recorded. In just the
first day, Illinois weed sales had reached $3.2
are the highest sales ever recorded for the launch of legal
recreational pot in any state thus far. The only comparable contender
is Oregon, which legalized marijuana through an
emergency bill one
year earlier than initially planned, allowing medical marijuana
dispensaries to sell to everyone instead of limiting sales to
licensed recreational retail shops. At the time, there were more
medical marijuana dispensaries running
in the state, giving Oregon a sharp advantage over Illinois, which
only had 37
recreational marijuana on legalization day. Despite that edge, Oregon
saw slightly lower sales than Illinois, reaching the $10.8 million
figure in six
made about $1
the first day of recreational sales, Massachusetts made $400,000 and
Michigan made $200,000.
Exact figures aren’t available, but we know Nevada averaged
$1 million a day in sales for the first few days after legalization,
and Washington struggled
to get sales off the ground at first, despite being a cannabis
powerhouse today with more than $1.3 billion in marijuana sales in
the fiscal year 2017 alone.
Alaska and California, the figures aren’t known,
but California might
be the only state with first-day sales comparable to the massive
movements observed in Illinois and Oregon. The other two states to
have legalized recreational pot, Maine and Vermont, haven’t started
selling it in retail locations yet. Sales are projected to start
2020 in Maine,
while Vermont hasn’t made the regulated, commercial sale of
recreational marijuana legal—although cultivation, consumption and
possession were fully legalized through the state’s legislature.
are now on sale for our first-ever WI Cannabis Expo to be held
Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 at the Wisconsin Center. The one-day expo will
feature exhibitors and talks by experts in the cannabis, CBD and hemp
industry. For more information, visit WICannabisExpo.com.
resounding success of this first week of sales in Illinois is a
milestone for the entire country. It shows that, when a state
properly rolls out and regulates adult-use marijuana, it can be a
resounding success. Since Illinois taxes marijuana products from 10%
to 25% depending on the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content, the high
sales represent a potentially massive tax revenue for the state. Part
of that revenue will be reinvested to support communities that have
been negatively impacted by the so-called “War on Drugs.” To
further serve the social justice goal of the legalization bill,
more than 11,000 people
who had been convicted for cannabis possession the day before the
substance went on sale publicly.
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