Virginia Medical Marijuana patients see high prices and long waits for approvals

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Illinois marijuana retailers have sold nearly $ 1 billion worth of legal recreational cannabis products so far in 2021.

With the transport of more than $ 100 million in September, the state has now recorded $ 997,067,100 in adult-use marijuana transactions this year.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) reported Monday that people purchased 2,702,260 recreational cannabis products last month, for receipts worth a total of $ 121,717,709.

This is just slightly lower than the figures reported for August. And that’s even lower than the peak in sales of $ 127,794,220 in July, which officials attributed in part to a boost from the Lollapalooza music festival. But overall, the data shows a level of consistency across the leisure market, which launched in early 2020.

This is the seventh consecutive month that adult-use marijuana sales have surpassed $ 100 million in the state.

Via IDFPR.

For September, there were $ 81,686,864 in cannabis purchases from state residents and $ 40,030,844 from out-of-town visitors, according to the IDFPR. In contrast, the state’s recreational marijuana sales totaled $ 67,648,362 for both categories of consumers in September 2020.

The new figures do not include sales of medical cannabis, which are tracked separately by a different agency.

The president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce predicted in May that retailers will sell more than $ 1 billion in adult marijuana sales in 2021, and October figures will confirm this when released early. next month.

The level of the cannabis trade means a significant increase in revenue for the state. Illinois sold about $ 670 million worth of marijuana last year and collected $ 205.4 million in tax revenue.

The state first generated more marijuana tax dollars than alcohol taxes last quarter, the Illinois Department of Revenue reported in May. From January to March, Illinois generated approximately $ 86,537,000 in tax revenue on adult marijuana, compared to $ 72,281,000 in alcohol sales.

In July, state officials committed $ 3.5 million in cannabis-generated funds to efforts to reduce violence through street intervention programs.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) is starting to get “tired” of hearing about these sales figures, he said in April, joking that Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) “always thank me for bringing people in Wisconsin across the border to buy marijuana” since the neighboring state has no legal market.

Illinois officials have stressed that taxpayer dollars from all of these sales are being put to good use. For example, the state announced in January that it was distributing $ 31.5 million in marijuana tax-funded grants to communities that have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

The funds are part of the state’s Restoration, Reinvestment, and Renewal (R3) program, which was established under the Illinois Cannabis Legalization Act for Adults. 25% of the marijuana tax money should be put into this fund and used to provide disadvantaged people with services such as legal aid, youth development, community reintegration and a financial support.

The awarding of the new grant is not all Illinois is doing to promote social fairness and redress the harms of the criminalization of cannabis. Pritzker announced in December that his office had processed more than 500,000 write-offs and pardons for people with low-level cannabis convictions on their files.

Likewise, a state-funded initiative was recently put in place to help residents convicted of marijuana obtain legal aid and other services to have their records erased.

But promoting social equity in the state’s cannabis industry has proven difficult. Illinois has faced criticism from lawyers and lawsuits from marijuana business applicants who say authorities haven’t done enough to ensure diversity among business owners Of the industry.

Pritzker signed a bill in July that aims to build on the state’s legalization law by creating more commercial licensing opportunities for cannabis to help people from disproportionately affected communities enter in the marijuana industry. Regulators have since held a series of lotteries to award additional dispensary licenses, but the losing companies have since filed legal challenges against the process.

Meanwhile, a House committee approved a resolution earlier this year that broadly condemns the war on drugs, calling it “America’s longest and costliest war and ultimately a complete and disgraceful failure.” .

Cannabis sales have increased in US markets

Recreational marijuana sales in Maine broke another record in August, surpassing $ 10 million for the first time since the adult market launched in October 2020.

Arizona brought in about $ 21 million in tax revenue on medical and adult marijuana in July, state officials recently reported on a new webpage that makes it easier for people to track it. evolution of the industry.

California collected about $ 817 million in tax revenue from adult marijuana in fiscal year 2020-2021, state officials estimated in August. That’s 55% more cannabis revenue for state coffers than that generated in the previous fiscal year.

Recent scientific analysis of sales data in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington state found that marijuana purchases “increased more during the COVID-19 pandemic than in the previous two years.” .

In July alone, at least three states recorded record sales of recreational cannabis. The same goes for the Missouri medical marijuana program.

Michigan’s marijuana sales broke another record in July with more than $ 171 million in cannabis transactions, according to data from the state regulator. There were $ 128 million in adult sales and $ 43 million in medical cannabis purchases.

Throughout the pandemic, many states have allowed cannabis retailers to remain open – governors and regulators in several markets declaring marijuana businesses essential services – and some jurisdictions have issued emergency rules allowing curbside pickup, delivery services, or other more relaxed policies to make social life easier. distancing.

Meanwhile, New York officials predict that marijuana tax revenues will help keep the state budget afloat as cigarette sales continue to decline over the next several years. But retail sales have yet to launch.

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