Just a day after launching legalized marijuana sales, the state of Illinois managed to earn a respectable $3,176,256.
71 (£2,429,788) from over 77,000 transactions. State officials said that the average purchase was worth around $200 (£153).
Forbes reported that on January 1, 2020, people could now legally purchase recreational cannabis from a state-approved dispensary without a prescription provided that they are 21 years old or older. While non-residents could also purchase marijuana, they could only do so in smaller quantities compared to residents. It was definitely a perfect way for the state to start the New Year on a high (literally and figuratively).
Toi Hutchinson, senior adviser to Governor JB Pritzker for cannabis control, said: “As we start a new decade, Illinois has achieved a monumental milestone – launching the legalization of cannabis in a way that includes communities left behind for far too long, creates good jobs and expunges thousands of records for those who have lost out on opportunities and ends prohibition.
“Today is a historic new day, and as we move forward with growing this industry, I thank all those who worked hard to make the launch a success and will continue to dedicate themselves to expanding opportunities and righting the wrongs of the past.”
People trooped out on New Year’s day and videos shared on social media showed hundreds of customers waiting outside dispensaries so that they could get their hands on legal cannabis.
In addition, more than 11,000 people with previous marijuana convictions were pardoned by Governor JB Pritzker as part of the new law. Over 700,000 who were previously arrested on marijuana charges may also have their records wiped.
CNN reported that Colorado and California also experienced similar turnouts on the first days that marijuana became legal in those states (in 2014 and 2018, respectively).
Illinois became the 11th US state to legalize marijuana sales to adults for recreational purposes. The other states are Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.