Illinois Customers Spent $40M on Recreational Marijuana During First Month of Sales

February 4, 2020by Ally Marotti, Chicago Tribune (TNS)
The state of Michigan forecasts the recreational marijuana sales will total hundreds of millions of dollars in the first year. (Dreamstime/TNS)

CHICAGO — Customers spent $39.2 million on recreational marijuana during the first month of legal weed sales in Illinois, and operators say they don’t expect sales to slow down any time soon.

Sales to Illinois residents totaled more than $30.6 million, according to numbers from the state. Out-of-state residents spent more than $8.6 million. Tax revenues have not been released.

Many customers continue to show up eager to shop in a dispensary for the first time. But operators say that since sales started Jan. 1, they’ve started to figure out the cadence of serving hundreds of people a day.

At Mission South Shore marijuana dispensary in the South Chicago neighborhood, lines form most mornings. But instead of waiting hours to buy weed, people are in and out in less than 30 minutes.

“It really feels like it has normalized quite a bit,” said Kris Krane, president and co-founder of 4Front Ventures, which owns the dispensary. “I would expect that at this point, this is just kind of the new normal.”

Marijuana shops are still contending with statewide product shortages that keep many customers from buying what they want the most: Flower, the popular dried marijuana buds that can be smoked.

The product shortage, which is expected to last months, shut down recreational sales at some dispensaries in early January. Buying limits remain in place at many shops, and others have limited recreational sales to two or three days a week.

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©2020 Chicago Tribune

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