- So far, 2020 has been a booming year for the cannabis industry in Illinois, as marijuana sales top the $580 million mark.
- The new tax revenue source is welcomed by many in the state, especially for those serving a sentence for a nonviolent marijuana charge.
- As marijuana companies like Cresco Labs continue to thrive, you can expect the cannabis industry in Illinois to grow even larger in 2021.
After marijuana’s first full year of complete legality in the state of Illinois, the industry has seen rapid growth and state-wide acceptance. Adult-use recreational and medical marijuana was legalized in the state on June 25th, 2019, and has seen nothing but success so far.
Part of this success includes Cresco Labs, a medical marijuana company, opening its 10th store in the state.
“We’re the first company to have 10 stores in the state of Illinois,” said Chief Communications Officer (CCO) of Cresco Labs. “We have the Naperville mayor out here welcoming us, and if you remember Naperville initially opted out of having cannabis stores in their community.”
So far in 2020, marijuana dispensaries in Illinois have sold over $580 million worth of legal, recreational marijuana. Not only does this further prove the success that states witness after legalizing marijuana, but it also provides an instant boost to the surrounding economy.
“This is all new money that the state never had,” said Chicago State Rep. La Shawn Ford. “And this is new money that taxpayers will be able to use for the benefit of the state.”
One other benefit marijuana legalization provides is record expungement, which helps set free people serving jail time for nonviolent marijuana charges. One of the biggest hot topics for marijuana legalization in the U.S. is that possessing marijuana is a crime in some states while perfectly legal in others.
This is an issue that Illinois Equal Justice Foundation Beth Johnson was looking to tackle.
“One of the main motivations behind having this process available was repairing the harm that was brought on people that were doing previously illegal activity that is now legal under the law, and people are benefiting from it.”
All in all, these first-year numbers in Illinois show a lot of promise for the future of cannabis. With a House-approved MORE Act waiting on a Senate vote, the future of marijuana could soon change in an even bigger way. The end of 2020 saw a flurry of states legalizing cannabis in some form or another. Surely more states will follow suit, as 15 states plus Washington D.C. have already fully legalized cannabis.