Illinois cannabis sales dip from monthly record

Illinois cannabis sales dip from monthly record

December 2022 broke the record for monthly cannabis sales in Illinois, but January 2023 couldn’t keep up.

The high holidays were followed by more sobriety in January as cannabis sales in Illinois dipped from a monthly record of $143 million in December 2022.

Of the $143 million, $41 million were residents from other states, nearly 30% of total sales. Total sales in 2022 were a record-setting $1.5 billion.

But growth in sales has leveled off. January 2023 sales were $128 million, up 9% from January 2022, but January 2022 was up 32% from the previous year.

Out-of-state sales could drop even more now that Missouri has legalized recreational cannabis, charging the lowest excise tax in the nation. Billboards near the state line now encourage Illinoisans to save by buying their weed in Missouri.

Marijuana sales come with a social risk. A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found instances in which children ingest cannabis are up 1,375%, which was blamed on edibles that look like candy and other treats to toddlers.

Illinoisans pay the second-highest taxes in the nation to buy recreational marijuana, which pushes consumers to unregulated sellers.

Illinois was recently rated the nation’s 8th-most sinful state, and state lawmakers like to impose sin taxes. But there would be less need to do so and more revenue available for public services were state lawmakers committed to reforming pension spending, which has increased by 584% since 2000. For reference, total spending has grown by 21% in that time.

Instead of inventing new ways to tax Illinoisans and hoping for more sinful behaviors, lawmakers should look to the other side of the budget: spending. Revenue shortages will always be an issue when spending increases at an irresponsible and unsustainable rate.

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