Today, we take a look at how the cannabis market is unfolding in states across the US. Illinois is looking like a bright spot, and Virginia may be the next big market to open up.
A 5-minute read from JB and JR
Weed and Chicago dogs go hand-in-hand
What’s happening: Illinois is raking in cannabis sales.
All in all, medical and recreational cannabis sales hit $2 billion the state, (with about $1.6 billion coming from recreational), driving around $417 million in tax revenue.
Why it matters: Illinois’ cannabis industry is a rare bright spot. It takes years for states to develop functional markets, and while no state is perfect, Illinois has tried to thread the delicate needle between providing enough inventory to satisfy customers and promote small businesses and social equity.
On that front, Black-owned cannabis shops have increased from 0 to 27 percent since 2020 in Illinois, according to Marijuana Moment, though craft growers are still struggling to stay afloat.
What they’re saying: “From day one, my administration has put equity first to build the most accessible cannabis industry in the nation,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “Our work will continue to repair past harm while providing opportunities for communities across the state and creating a more prosperous future.”
New bills would legalize cannabis sales
What’s new: A new bill that would legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in Virginia was introduced into the State’s House of Delegates on Wednesday, and an identical bill is expected to be filed in the Senate.
The bill, HB 698, would allow existing medical cannabis companies to switch to selling recreational cannabis by July 1. It would also open up a new “micro-business” licensing program, as an effort to provide licenses to entrepreneurs who are veterans or from disadvantaged groups affected by the War on Drugs.
Back up: Consumption and small-scale cultivation of cannabis is legal in Virginia, though the state’s Republicans have so far blocked the opening of a functional market.
In the interim, unlicensed, and untaxed, cannabis sellers are flourishing. Longtime Cultivated readers are now surely aware of the risks of the lack of proactive policy-making when it comes to cannabis.
What they’re saying: “I just think this is a sensible approach whose time has come,” Virginia State Sen. Adam Ebbin told Marijuana Moment.