Illinois cannabis buyers pay 89% more than U.S. average
The new report published by Headset found Illinoisans are paying 89% more for the average cannabis item than the rest of the nation. Researchers attribute the high prices to stifled competition.
A new report found Illinois has some of the highest cannabis prices in the country, with the most expensive item prices among states studied.
The study published by Headset found Illinoisans pay 89% more on average for cannabis products than the rest of the U.S. market.
Despite the high prices, researchers said the state captured $950 million in total cannabis sales from January through June of 2023. They noted sales growth has declined rapidly since legalization, with just a 2% increase in demand in the first half of this year compared to the same period a year earlier. They said that was likely to get worse with Missouri legalizing recreational weed.
As of June 2023, Illinois is the third-largest cannabis market in the U.S., trailing only Michigan and California.
While the report found cannabis product prices are slowly falling with time, Headset researchers concluded Illinois’ existing high cannabis prices likely stem from a lack of competition.
Researchers said a small number of brands are operating in the market and there’s a high degree of vertical integration. The report found 68% of total state sales came from just 10 brands. Illinois has few retailers compared to other states, but 55 new retail licenses should improve the market.
Illinoisans pay the second-highest taxes in the nation to buy recreational marijuana, which pushes consumers to other states and unregulated sellers.
High taxes on everything from cannabis to people’s homes will always be an issue in Illinois as long as spending increases at an irresponsible and unsustainable rate. Whether at the state or local level, that spending is largely ballooning as a result of uncontrolled government pension growth.