All things considered, 2021 was a pretty good year for cannabis. Unlike most sectors, the state-legal cannabis industry didn’t take much of a beating from the coronavirus pandemic, and when 2021 came to a close, cannabis businesses across the country were doing relatively well. So while businesses in other industries were struggling to recover from the crippling effects of the pandemic, marijuana sellers were making bank. For Illinois, 2021 was probably the best year the state’s cannabis industry had ever seen.
Cannabis sellers in Illinois sold cannabis worth a whopping $137.9 million in December 2021, breaking yet another monthly sales record. December was the market’s best-selling month, with the state’s cannabis industry breaking the monthly record of $127.8 million in sales that was set in July. Furthermore, says the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, marijuana sales in Illinois doubled over the course of the year from $669 million in 2020 to a whopping $1.4 billion in 2021.
Illinois residents made up the majority of the cannabis market, buying $943 million worth of cannabis products while out-of-state visitors purchased marijuana products worth more than $436 million. The year was also quite lucrative for the taxman. Since taxes on legal sales can be up to 40% of the price, the state was able to collect $387 million worth of taxes from cannabis sales. More than one-third of the tax funds were earmarked for the state general revenue fund, with 10% going to unpaid bills, 8% going to law enforcement and 2% going to public safety campaigns.
The Restore, Reinvent and Renew program diverted almost a quarter of every marijuana dollar to social equity programs targeting communities that had been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. The funds were used to provide these communities with crucial services such as youth development, legal aid, financial support and community reentry. In December 2021, state officials announced that the state would provide $45 million in grants to communities that were harmed most by the decades-long drug war.
To identify such communities and determine their social equity eligibility, officials examined community-level data on child poverty, unemployment, gun injury and state prison commitments. Speaking at a press conference in December 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said that it was time to address the damage caused by the failed war on drugs. He said that what set Illinois apart from other states was its commitment to reinvesting in these impacted communities now that cannabis is legal. Earlier last year, the Restore, Reinvent and Renew program distributed $31.5 million in social equity grants to 80 organizations.
This boom in marijuana sales may suggest that cannabis sector players in that market such as Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) may have cracked the code of what the consumers in that market need, hence the record sales.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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