Illinois on pace to surpass $1 billion in cannabis sales for 2020

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Despite 2020’s major challenges, cannabis businesses in Illinois are expected to post sales totaling more than $1 billion for the year.

And 2020 was only the first year of operation for the state’s legal recreational cannabis program.

The combined sales of 80 adult-use and medical marijuana retailers in the state will sail past that billion-dollar mark, according to the Chicago Tribune, and there is room for expansion in 2021.

Illinois recorded total sales of nearly $106 million for both recreational and medical marijuana in November, bringing the market’s total 11-month total for 2020 to more than $913 million, according to state data.

The future for the Illinois cannabis industry is even brighter for 2021 because:

  • More municipalities are expected to approve marijuana stores this year.
  • 30 retailers are slated to open from the first round of licensing.
  • The state has given applicants for 75 new adult-use licenses a do-over, and once the ensuing lottery moves forward, the market will expand exponentially.

However, that licensing round has raised questions about the state’s social equity provisions, once proclaimed to be a model for the industry.

The state currently has 21 licensed marijuana cultivators, with 40 craft cultivation permits yet to be awarded.