The US state of Illinois, which includes Chicago, more than doubled its sales between 2020 and 2021. In one year, recreational cannabis sales have grown from $ 670 million to $ 1.4 billion, according to the latest figures from the local finance ministry. The market therefore begins in 2022 in great shape. And that’s all the more impressive, since cannabis has only been legal in Illinois for two years.
As this table shows, sales could become even more stratospheric in 2022. Indeed, they are constantly increasing during the year 2021, going from 88 million in January to 137 in December.
When it comes to shopping, the people of Illinois set their sights on cannabis flowers. In fiscal year 2021, from July 2020 to June 2021, they spent over $ 500 million on buds, directly to smoke.
The other big success is the “inhalation extracts”. Translation: products to “dab”, such as oils, shatter or budder. It sold for over $ 350 million. Almost non-existent in France, these products are very popular in the United States, even if they raise some concerns for their potency or their dangerousness.
$ 100 million donated for social justice
The state, governed by a Democrat, has chosen to heavily tax cannabis. For every dollar spent on weed, more than 40 cents can go to the state. Result: 390 million in tax revenue in 2021. This is much more than Massachusetts for example, where taxes only bring in $ 50 million per year.
In Illinois, a quarter of that money will go to the ‘R3’ social justice program, aimed at the less advantaged classes. “The regions eligible for this program are places with a high rate of gunshot wounds, child poverty, unemployment, imprisonment, and also areas affected by the war on drugs”, said the office of Democratic Governor JB Pritzker. This program will therefore receive almost $ 100 million for the year 2021, thanks to cannabis sales.
The rest of the tax revenues will feed the state budget (for a quarter), the police (a tenth), and drug prevention programs (about 2%). The windfall of taxes brought by cannabis is now one of the main revenues for the State of Illinois. In any case, green gold already brings in more money than tobacco.