Illinois saw its lowest number of out-of-state cannabis purchases since February 2021 – and Missouri’s new adult-use program could be behind the drop.
Total recreational cannabis products sales by legal retailers also fell, hitting $120.5 million in February, the lowest since the same month in 2022, according to a monthly report from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The findings include data on the total sales, broken down between both in-state and out-of-state residents.
While the total sales still outmatched Missouri’s first month of adult-use sales, the figure has leveled off from the Illinois’ all-time high in December 2022, when recreational revenue nearly cracked $144 million.
Before this year, the sales of adult-use cannabis had been increasing steadily since its January 2020 commencement.
Missouri dispensaries sold nearly $71.7 million worth of recreational marijuana in February, the first month of adult-use sales in the state.
The figures were released by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which oversees the state’s medical marijuana program.
Monthly out-of-state sales in Illinois over the past year typically were $35 million-$43 million, while February 2023 dropped to $30.7 million.
Missouri’s program is proving its gravitas. Increasing and even potentially existential competition in St. Louis and along the state borders has been expected among retailers and analysts.
For perspective, it took Illinois nearly a year for adult-use sales to surpass the $70 million mark. Missouri did in in its first month.
Missouri off to Strong Start
The legalization of adult-use marijuana has been seen as a positive development for Missouri, with the industry providing a significant boost to the state economy and generating new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs.
Nick Wegman, the general manager of Feel State Dispensary in Northern St. Louis County echoed this sentiment last week.
“I think just in general the spirit of North County has lifted, so to speak,” he told KDSK Channel 5 News.
Missouri expects to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue from marijuana sales, money that will be used to fund a range of programs and initiatives, including education, infrastructure, and health care.
The launch has been so strong that dozens of municipalities and county governments are beginning to consider adding local taxes to recreational marijuana sales.
“The numbers are impressive, but more important is how smoothly the transition went,” MoCannTrade Executive Director Andrew Mullins told Greenway Magazine. “For operators to be able to handle that volume of sales change – whether it’s inventory tracking, compliance, having product on shelves and in hand, or taking care of customers and patients – look how graciously the industry responded.”
“That’s the amazing thing to me, Missouri businesses haven’t experienced the same lines, problems, and shortages that we’ve seen in other states.”