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Recreational weed sales drop to $35 million in February as shortages continue

“If we had more consistent supply and could start lowering prices, then those numbers would go up,” said Kris Krane, president of Mission dispensary in South Chicago.

The first batch of customers make their purchases at Rise Joliet. A new ordinance aims to streamline the zoning process to attract a flood of new cannabis license winners. Sun-Times file

Nearly $35 million in recreational marijuana was sold across Illinois in February, marking a significant decrease from the total sold in the state’s first month of legal weed.

All told, 41 dispensaries sold 831,600 pot products last month worth $34.8 million. That’s down from the $39.2 million in sales tallied in January, when enthusiastic cannabis users bought up 972,045 products from dispensaries that quickly saw their stockpiles of pot depleted due to a pervasive supply shortage.

“If we had more consistent supply and could start lowering prices, then those numbers would go up,” Kris Krane, president of Mission dispensary in South Chicago, said Wednesday. “Supply hasn’t really gotten any better yet and I don’t really anticipate that it will in the near future.”

Krane and Abigail Watkins, spokeswoman for Dispensary 33 in Uptown, said the major problem for stores is stocking dried cannabis flower. The dispensaries are essentially dependent on just 21 cultivation centers statewide to provide products.

“I’m not gonna beat around the bush — we don’t have flower for [recreational customers] every day of the week,” Watkins said. “We’re replenishing as much as we can.”

Andy Seeger, a cannabis industry researcher for the Loop-based Brightfield Group, said the supply woes that have constrained the Illinois market have likely deterred more folks from traveling across state lines to buy legal weed. Nevertheless, the amount of recreational pot sold to out-of-staters climbed from $8.6 million in January to $9.2 million last month.

Seeger also said the weather may have contributed to the slumping second-month sales. In other legal states, pot sales typically cool down during the winter doldrums and pick up in the summer months, he said.