Illinois Marijuana sales are highest so far this year at $140M
CHICAGO -- Illinois cannabis sellers sold $140 million worth of weed in July, the highest monthly total so far in 2023.
The majority of the cannabis sales were to state residents, totaling $104.3 million. Out-of-state customers bought $35.6 million worth of product, according to sales figures from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Marijuana Moments, a website that follows the weed industry, said Wisconsin likely accounted for a big portion of the out-of-state customers. Minnesota's recent legalization left Wisconsin as an "island of prohibition" in the region, the website said.
July's total was the second-all-time highest monthly sales in Illinois. State retailers sold $143.9 million in December 2022. Sales totaled $1.5 billion for all of 2022.
A total of 3.5 million cannabis products were sold in July - the most items sold in a month since the state started its legal recreational cannabis program in 2020. December 2022 had 3.4 million items sold, according to state data.
Sales this year total $924.4 million. A recent report showed pot prices in Illinois are among the highest in the country, making the state the third-largest cannabis market after California and Michigan.
Information from Headset, a company that tracks point-of-sale figures from cannabis dispensaries, shows the average price per item in Illinois is 89% higher than in the rest of the U.S.
Illinois has relatively few distinct brands, with just 118, compared to Washington state, which has over 1,000, and Michigan, which has about 800.
With such a limited selection, the report states it is "no surprise," sales are highly concentrated within a few brands. About 68% of sales in Illinois come from the market's top 10 brands, Headset found.
"The high vertical integration coupled with the small brand selection likely contributes to a situation where prices are allowed to stay relatively high," the study finds.
The pot industry in the state has seen explosive growth since it became legal to buy marijuana for recreational use in 2020.
"Illinois is creating strong returns for current owners and investors in our growing cannabis industry," said John R. Daley, president of Daley Strategy Group, a consulting firm that has done work for the pot industry. "But the state has more work to do to achieve the vision of equitable access to ownership for Black and Brown communities and others impacted by the failed war on drugs. I'm hopeful there's a better way forward."