Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois cannabis provisioning centers sold nearly $36 million in product in March, according to a report from the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
In excess of 812,000 recreational use cannabis was sold in the 31-day period. While most of those deals ($27 million) originated from in-state purchasers, out-of-state buyers represented about $8.8 million in total sales.
In comparison, Illinois sold about $35 million worth of cannabis in February and almost $40 million during its first month of sales in January.
“Three straight long periods of steady grown-up use cannabis deals appear there is—and will keep on being—solid help and request from shoppers,” Toi Hutchinson, the state’s cannabis director, said in a press release.
The press release also highlighted cannabis sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impact not only Illinois, but also the nation. Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D) designated Medical Marijuana dispensaries as essential businesses, but restricted sales to curbside pickup. Recreational Marijuana sales were not deemed essential. Hutchinson said curbside pickup will remain available for patients through April 30.
As in past discharges about month to month deals information, the new notification noted that taxes generated from Medical Marijuana sales will go toward social and therapeutic programs.
Hutchinson also extended the cutoff time for applications to turn into an authorized cannabis provisioning centers, cultivators and transporters from March 30 to April 30.
The data about out-of-state deals raises a fascinating point—one that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) addressed during an ongoing question and answer session. Baker said his decision to close down recreational provisioning centers (but not Medical dispensaries) because he believed non-residents would leave the state to buy their cannabis, possibly spread the COVID-19 infection unnecessarily.
Supporters, however, pushed back, contending that closing recreational cannabis dispensaries would prompt buyers to seek Marijuana in the black market, depriving the state of tax revenues.