12 days, $20 million: Recreational weed sales remain high in Illinois

The total includes nearly $13 million worth of pot sold in the first week, second only to the first 7 days of legal pot sales in California.

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Customers shop for a recreational marijuana at Dispensary 33 store on January 1, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.


Shoppers spent nearly $20 million on recreational marijuana in the first 12 days of legalization, including nearly $13 million in the first week.

Of the eight other states that allow recreational marijuana sales, only California had a bigger rollout, according to Andy Seeger, a cannabis industry analyst at the Loop-based Brightfield Group. In the first five days alone, the state tallied nearly $15 million in recreational sales.

In Illinois, daily sales peaked at $3.17 million on Jan. 1, when hordes of enthusiastic customers flooded the state’s couple dozen dispensaries on the first day of legalization.

Five days later, sales only reached $796,000 as some shops facing the effects of a pervasive supply shortage were forced to shut down sales to recreational shoppers or limit those sales. Sales rebounded somewhat but still haven’t hit the totals seen in each of the first four days of legalization.

All told, dispensaries recorded 495,385 unique transactions over the first 12 days, meaning the average purchase was about $40. The limited supply and high taxes have pushed the price of an eighth of an ounce of flower up to around $80 at some stores.

While shoppers continue to endure long lines to get inside certain stores, many have been happy to wait hours to get their first taste of legal pot.

Here are the daily sales figures, which totaled $19,709,345.10.

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