Illinois’ pot debut beat all states except one, by this measure


The state “had the most successful rollout in the industry,” says the chief of the largest U.S. cannabis company, which is looking to get a foothold in this market.

Illinois per-capita recreational pot sales topped every state but one in its debut month, according to an analysis this week.

The state logged $39.2 million of adult-use recreational marijuana sales in January, or $3.07 in sales per resident, according to New Frontier Data, a cannabis research company. Those are the second-highest sales per capita during the first full month of legalization among eight other states where adults can buy pot for recreational use. Nevada was the highest at $8.88 per capita in July 2017, a figure bolstered by tourism, according to Kacey Morrissey, New Frontier’s director of industry analytics.

Illinois’s performance is “typical for first month’s sales,” Beau Whitney, executive vice president and senior economist at New Frontier, said in an email. “Illinois is fairly strong out of the gate.”

On Jan. 1, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational use of the drug. The fervor around the industry’s prospects has been strong especially as Illinois, which has the lowest-credit rating of all 50 states, needs revenue. With nearly 13 million residents and more than 100 million tourists a year, Illinois is expected to be the largest adult-use market in the Midwest and annual sales could reach $4 billion when the market matures, according to Cresco Labs Inc., the state’s largest cannabis operator by capacity. [Read More @ Crain’s Chicago Business}