Medical pot sales topped $23 million in January as patient count eclipsed 100K

The strong showing came as hordes of recreational pot users flocked to dispensaries for their first taste of legal weed.

SHARE Medical pot sales topped $23 million in January as patient count eclipsed 100K
Illinois marijuana dispensaries sold over $44 million of recreational cannabis in May.

File photo

Illinois pot shops sold over $23 million worth of medical weed in January as the state’s patient count jumped above 100,000 for the first time since the program was launched in 2014.

The strong showing came as hordes of recreational pot users flocked to dispensaries for their first taste of legal weed. Despite a pervasive supply shortage that took hold in the wake of recreational legalization, 55 licensed dispensaries made $62.6 million in total sales last month, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. That included nearly $40 million in recreational weed sales.

Of the $23.4 million in medical pot sales in January, $9.8 million was spent on dried cannabis flower, which has remained in short supply across the state. Those totals were notably lower than the final quarter of 2019, when average monthly flower sales of $12.4 million accounted for nearly half of the $26.2 million in average total sales.

And while the patient count jumped to 102,519, the state’s medical cannabis market will eventually shrink as the recreational program becomes more reliable, said Andy Seeger, an analyst at the Brightfield Group, a Loop-based cannabis research firm.

“When fully legalized, adult-use markets open, we typically see former patients move into typical retail dispensaries for some, if not all, sales as they find the hurdles of the medical program to be too onerous,” said Seeger.

Seeger noted that while medical card holders can avoid lines and taxes at dispensaries, prospective patients will still have to pay doctors for certification as well as a $100 application fee that he described as way to discourage “tax dodging.”

Medical pot transactions have wound up accounting for only 5% to 10% of total sales in other states that have fully legalized the drug, he noted.

The Latest
If only these folks were as mad about the insurrectionist siege on the U.S. Capitol as they’re pretending to be about the raid on Trump’s Palm Beach golf club.
The mayoral candidate unveils six-point plan to tackle gun violence on trains and buses.
The mayor is allowed to increase property taxes automatically by 5% or the inflation rate, whichever is less. But with inflation at levels not seen in 40 years, Lightfoot had vowed to avoid seeking the full amount.
The state’s only consensus five-star prospect and six Big Ten recruits are among the area’s top 10 defensive players for 2022.
It is one of 10 projects across the country to receive a federal grant to build advanced intelligent transportation system technologies that will improve mobility, safety and provide multimodal transportation.