Illinois recreational marijuana sales already nearing $1 billion for 2021

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Recreational marijuana sales in Illinois have reached nearly $1 billion, and three months remain in the calendar year.

According to monthly data released by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation,  the state’s adult-use industry sales were at just over $997 million at the end of September.

That total is leaps and bounds over 2020, when Illinois’ recreational cannabis businesses brought in $669 million for the entire year.

Illinois rec sales didn’t go above $100 million in any month in 2020, the year the market launched. But sales have exceeded that threshold every month in 2021 with the exception of January and February.

The high-water mark so far this year is July, when sales reached $127.7 million; in 2020, the top month for rec sales was December, with $86.8 million.

Though the agency doesn’t release medical marijuana sales figures, the Chicago Tribune reported that the MMJ program in Illinois has grown significantly as well, with patient numbers increasing by roughly 30% since a year ago.

As in most medical marijuana markets, chronic pain was the most-cited reason for patients’ need for MMJ, at 31%. Next came post-traumatic stress disorder (16%), migraines and osteoarthritis (10% each) and cancer (5%).