Recreational marijuana sales in Illinois finished 2022 with more than $1.5 billion, up 13% from 2021.
Total sales in December were the highest of any month at $143.9 million, following a seasonal pattern seen in previous years. But the rate of sales growth, 4% over December 2021, was the slowest this year, reflecting continued pressure on discretionary consumer spending from inflation.
Growth in the number of products sold also slowed in December to 8% year over year, marking the first time last year that unit volume showed a single-digit increase. Year-over-year revenue growth had been picking up slightly since summer, from a 6% rate in July to 8% in November, but it slid to 4% in December.
The Illinois weed industry is still in its infancy, and overall growth has been tempered by a lack of stores. But the marijuana industry also faces headwinds from inflation and falling prices.
The number of dispensaries has been essentially flat for a year as the state struggled with litigation and other bureaucratic hurdles to issuing new licenses. The state recently issued 192 new licenses, which would nearly triple the number of dispensaries. But only three new stores have opened so far.
The industry is facing challenges, as well. Chicago-based Fyllo, an advertising technology company that serves the marijuana industry, estimates that same-store sales fell 5.3% in December. Flowhub, a point-of-sale vendor, estimated that the average spend per customer fell nearly 13% to $55, according to Green Market Report.