Since recreational marijuana sales were legalized statewide in January 2020, taxes and fees have generated more than $850 million for Illinois.
Last month alone, the 110 recreational dispensaries throughout Illinois collected $131,547,031 in revenue, their fourth-highest monthly tally ever.
But those sales figures have remained relatively flat since March, leading some to worry the state’s cannabis cash cow has reached the highest hill in the state’s revenue pasture.
Less than two weeks ago, the state legislature’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability revised the state’s revenue estimates, reducing cannabis tax fund expectations by $8 million this fiscal year. It was just one of three general fund revenue sources where officials now anticipate fewer dollars than initially budgeted.
Illinois dispensaries are also getting competition from Missouri after voters there recently approved adult-use marijuana sales. None of the five states that border Illinois previously allowed recreational sales of marijuana.
“Nearly a third of the state’s (recreational) sales came from out-of-state residents, but there was a huge influx from Missouri,” said Pam Althoff, executive director of the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois, the statewide lobbying arm of the industry. “But there are really several reasons for the plateauing.”