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Governor’s office says the first days of legal marijuana generated more than $10 million in sales

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CHICAGO (HOI) - Governor JB Prtizker's office released the sales figures related to the first weekend of legal recreational marijuana sales in Illinois.

In its first five days, legal adult-use cannabis generated more than $10 million, according to Pritzker's office. That is a total of 271,169 transactions statewide.

Here's a table detailing the numbers:

Jan. 1$3,176,256.7177,128
Jan. 2$2,252,586.5156,762
Jan. 3$2,209,065.0155,161
Jan. 4$2,004,019.4351,174
Jan. 5$1,189,252.1830,954

The new state law put a focus on equity, ensuring opportunities for minority businesses to take part in the industry who were historically impacted by criminalized marijuana. The Illinois Department of Federal and Professional Regulation said 25% of sales tax revenues will support the Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) program, "which aims to address the impact of economic disinvestment, violence and the historical overuse of the criminal justice system."

The Senior Advisor to the Governor for Cannabis Control, Toi Hutchinson said in a press release, “As we move into the next phase, the Pritzker administration is proud to see the robust interest in dispensary ownership from social equity applicants, and we encourage them to apply for $30 million in loans that we have available to reduce the capital barriers to entry. Unlike any state in the nation, Illinois has set the standard for what it means to legalize cannabis in a way that begins to right the wrongs of the past and gives new opportunity to those that have been left behind for far too long.”

Moving forward, the governor's office said more than 700 applications were submitted for almost 4,000 licenses. However, the state will only allow up to 75 new dispensary licenses. They plan to announce those by May 1, 2020.

Of those 700 applicants, about 600 identified themselves as qualifying for social equity applicant status. The benefits of that include receiving a 50% waiver for non-refundable application and license feeds. In addition, 20% of application scoring is designated for social equity applicants.

Other benefits include:

  • Access to low-cost loan fund to cut startup costs.
  • Allowed 180 days from license award date to identify a physical location for the dispensary.
  • Ownership limitations exist to protect market share for new applicants.

The state also said it plans to conduct a disparity study after the next round of licenses are issued, to ensure "the market reflects the equity goals."

Molly Jirasek

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