Sales of adult-use cannabis in Illinois totaled more than $37 million in April as recreational marijuana retailers enjoyed status as essential businesses in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Officials with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced on Monday that preliminary figures for adult-use cannabis retail sales came to $37,260,497.89 in April, the fourth month of the state’s newly legal recreational marijuana industry.
Residents of Illinois purchased $29,735,650.41 worth of cannabis products, while visitors to the state spent another $7,524,847.47 at dispensaries. A total of 818,954 individual cannabis products were sold during the month. Sales figures do not include taxes collected on cannabis transactions.
Both adult-use cannabis retailers and medical marijuana dispensaries were designated as essential businesses and allowed to remain open during the emergency order declared by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on March 20. The declaration ordered non-essential businesses to close and directed residents to remain at home except for necessary trips in an effort to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic that continues to sweep the globe.
During the pandemic, dispensaries have been permitted to offer curbside pickup for customers under certain conditions. Curbside pickups must be made on a dispensary’s property or adjacent public walkway or curb. Deliveries to a patient, caregiver, or customer’s home have not been permitted, however. Curbside delivery will be permitted for the duration of the governor’s stay-at-home order, which is currently slated to remain in effect through the month of May.
“Our top priority is to ensure consumers are safe when they go to a dispensary to purchase cannabis,” Toi Hutchinson, Pritzker’s senior advisor for cannabis control, said in a press release on Monday. “The steps we’ve taken to increase social distancing at dispensaries are accomplishing that, while also enabling this new industry to continue to grow. As such, curbside pickup will remain an option for medical cannabis users to obtain the product they need through May 30.”
Cannabis Sales Support Social Equity Programs
The IDFPR also noted that a portion of all recreational cannabis sales goes toward funding social justice and equity goals in the state. But another one of those goals, supporting social equity applicants seeking licenses to operate businesses in the fledgling recreational cannabis industry, has been put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, the IDFPR announced that 75 licenses for retail cannabis operations that were scheduled to be awarded on May 1 would be delayed until after the governor’s emergency declaration has expired. More than 700 applications for the licenses had been submitted, many by applicants who qualified for special consideration under social equity programs. Social equity applicants are those who live in an area adversely affected by the war on drugs and those with a marijuana-related conviction on their record and their family members. The licenses will now be awarded at a date to be determined later.