The commencement of cannabis legalization in Illinois has proven to be successful for adult-use cannabis shops in the state, which have done millions of dollars in sales in just the first week.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on Monday announced that statewide adult-use cannabis sales from Wednesday, January 1 through Sunday, January 5 totaled $10,830,667.91 from 271,169 transactions.
“The successful launch of this new industry is a historic development for our state that will benefit the very communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the failed war on drugs,” says Senior Advisor to the Governor for Cannabis Control Toi Hutchinson. “As we move into the next phase, the Pritzker administration is proud to see the robust interest in dispensary ownership from social equity applicants, and we encourage them to apply for $30 million in loans that we have available to reduce the capital barriers to entry.”
Hutchinson says that, unlike any state in the nation, Illinois has set the cannabis legalization standard in a way that starts to fix the past wrongs of prohibition and gives new opportunities to people who have been left behind for far too long.
Twenty-five percent of adult-use cannabis sales revenue in Illinois will be used to support the Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) program, which focuses on addressing the fallout from economic disinvestment, violence, and overuse of the criminal justice system.
The Illinois Department of Revenue aims to have a tax revenue estimate before the end of February when dispensaries will be making their initial tax payments.
The Department concluded the first round of new dispensary applications on Thursday, January 2, with more than 700 applicants vying for nearly 4,000 licenses.
According to the Department, more than 600 applicants identified themselves as qualified for social equity status.
The Department will announce the awarding of up to 75 new dispensary licenses on May 1, 2020.
Of the total points that applicants may be awarded during the application process, 20 percent are designated for social equity applicants, who also receive a 50 percent waiver for application and license fees, which are non-refundable.
Low-cost loans, which are primarily funded by existing dispensaries, are also available to social equity applicants, who have 180 days from the awarding of the license to select a physical location for their shop.
After the next round of dispensary licenses are awarded, Illinois will conduct a disparity study to ensure that the new market is in-line with the equity goals of the state’s legalization legislation.