CHICAGO – Illinois dispensaries sold a record $ 127.8 million in recreational marijuana in July, with a big boost from out-of-state fans who converged on Chicago for the Lollapalooza Music Festival.
Sales for the month were 10% above a record high of $ 116.4 million in May, slightly above the $ 115.6 million in June, according to a monthly report from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation .
Business exploded at Chicago-area cannabis dispensaries during the four-day Lollapalooza festival, which ended on Sunday and returned after last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic of coronavirus.
Because recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois in January 2020, pot was legal in the state during Lollapalooza for the first time in the festival’s 30-year history. Although it is illegal to smoke or otherwise use the drug in public or around anyone under the age of 21, large crowds in Grant Park have increased sales by up to 50% at nearby River dispensaries. North and West Loop, operators told the Chicago Tribune.
âWe saw thousands of festival goers over the weekend at our store in River North, making it our biggest weekend yet,â said Jason Erkes, spokesperson for Cresco Labs, based at Chicago, whose Sunnyside Dispensary in River North was closest to the festivities.
In July, Illinois’ 110 dispensaries sold a record 2.8 million recreational weed products. State residents spent about $ 85 million, while sales to out-of-state customers exceeded $ 42 million, up 16% from June, according to the state.
âSummer tourism and Lollapalooza attendees were a big contributor to July’s out-of-state sales,â Erkes said.
Illinois is one of 18 states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, which is still illegal under federal law. As of July, the state generated $ 753 million in recreational cannabis sales, more than last year.
Total sales reached $ 1.03 billion last year, including $ 669 million in recreational cannabis and over $ 366 million in medical marijuana sales.
Illinois has yet to release its medical marijuana sales figures for July.