Illinois Legal Weed Sales Down, But Illegal Sales Are Up
Looking at some of the latest legal marijuana sales numbers here in Illinois might leave you with the impression that some (actually, a lot) of Illinois' marijuana fans have kept the phone number of their "weed guy."
That impression seems to be quite accurate.
When People Who Have Left Illinois Are Asked Why, The Number One Answer Is "Taxes," Which Is Also Why Illinois Legal Weed Sales Are Down
Looking back to January of 2020 when legalized recreational marijuana had its premiere in Illinois, sales pretty much took off right from the start. Illinois set sales records for 9 straight months...until we entered 2022.
In December of last year, Illinois dispensaries had sales numbers around $138 million. However, in January of this year, that number was $117 million, and last month's sales total was $114 million, the lowest since March of 2021.
Illinois also has some of the highest marijuana taxes in the country (why wouldn't we, we're the most over-taxed state across the board in the country) which some believe sends some weed consumers back to their illegal dealer who doesn't seem to want to bother with tax collection.
What Do You Think Is The Difference In Sales Totals Between Legal And Illegal Weed?
According to a piece at IllinoisPolicy.org, last year's total take in legal marijuana sales here in Illinois was $1.37 billion. Illegal weed sales came in at $2.23 billion.
The illegal market will continue to thrive as long as consumers face daunting price tags, said Andy Seeger, a cannabis industry analyst.
Lower costs for consumers will depend on state leaders “getting out of the way and really allowing competition,” Seeger said.
As anyone who has lived in Illinois for any amount of time can tell you, once this state starts grabbing your money in taxes--they're not going to stop and ask you for less.
That's probably why illegal dealers are still getting lots and lots of phone calls and texts from their current and former clientele.