Illinois weed sales hit new high of $109 million in March

Based on the first three months this year, total recreational sales in 2021 are on pace to cross $1 billion.

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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.

Weed stores sold over $109 million in recreational pot products in March.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file photo

Illinois pot shops reported sales of $109 million of recreational weed in March, shattering a record set earlier this year. 

Average daily sales in March also hit a new high of roughly $3.5 million, up from the $2.88 million a month earlier, according to figures released this week by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. 

The huge haul is also a marked increase from the $80 million in sales recorded in February, and is more than the previous record of $88 million in sales reported in January. 

Based on the first three months of sales this year, total sales in 2021 are on pace to cross $1 billion. Last year, the first full year of legalization, total recreational pot sales reached nearly $670 million. 

Medical marijuana sales figures are reported separately from recreational tallies and are reported later in the month. 

While sales figures for existing shops remain strong, applicants for new licenses have condemned the process to award additional licenses, which has been stalled for months and delayed the possibility of diversifying the white-dominated industry. 

Last month, State Rep. La Shawn Ford joined a group of cannabis equity advocates to announce plans for legislation that would address the inequities and create up to 115 new pot shop permits.

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