Illinois Cannabis Market Continues Growing, What Will 2023 Bring? Photo: Esteban Lopez/Unsplash
January 17, 2023

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) issued December 2022 adult use sales figures. Combined December sales to in-state and out-of-state residents, at $144 million, topped November 2022 sales, at $130.5 million, by 10.3% and exceeded December 2021 sales of $137.9 million by 4.4%. Indeed, December 2022 sales were the highest monthly sales the state has seen since legal adult-use sales started.

Overall, for 2022, legal adult use cannabis sales in Illinois reached $1.55 billion, up 12.5% from nearly $1.38 billion in sales in 2021. Sales in 2021 more than doubled from 2020, the first year of adult use sales in Illinois. 2022 represents a significant slowdown in growth for Illinois’ recreational sector.

December 2022 in-state sales, at $102.5 million, jumped 12.3% over November 2022 sales of $91.3 million and were up 7.1% from December 2021 sales of $85.6 million. The December in-state share of total sales rose from 69% in November 2022 to 71.2% in December 2022.

December 2022 out-of-state sales, at $41.4 million, were up 5.6% from November 2022 sales of $39.2 million, but were down 2.2% from December 2021 out-of-state sales of $42.4 million.

IDFPR supplies monthly data on the number of items sold. December 2022 saw 3.4 million items sold,  representing a 12.3% surge over November 2022’s items sold figure of just over 3 million and up 8.4% from December 2021’s almost 3.2 million items sold.

The average price of items sold in December 2022 was $41.75, up $0.22 from November’s average items sold price of $42.53, but down $1.60 from the average price of items sold in December 2021.

Illinois Cannabis Sales Q4 2022

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which oversees the state’s medical cannabis program, recently released November 2022 and December 2022 updates, detailing patient numbers and sales figures.

November 2022 retail revenues, at $28.2 million, were down just over 1% from October 2022 sales of $28.5 million and were down 10.5% from November 2021 sales of $31.5 million.

November 2022 medical flower sales, at $12.8 million, were 45.5% of total sales. November 2022 flower sales were down 1.3% from October 2022 sales of $13 million and down 12.3% from November 2021 medical flower sales of $14.6 million.

The combination of lower sales and lower prices in the medical cannabis program likely reflects competition between the medical and adult use sectors, as medical market sales continue to fall on a year over year basis – as is typical in markets where adult use sales are implemented alongside an existing medical program. Indeed, medical and adult use prices converged in August 2022 and were essentially the same through the beginning of December, when adult use cannabis wholesale prices fell by over 21% as of the week of January 6, 2023.

Is Illinois finally seeing competition in local markets? No, not really. The state’s licensing process has been snarled in lawsuits. Along with the complexity and expense of applying for a license, the litigation has slowed new licensing to a trickle. That is not to say there is no price competition, but that competition is coming from Michigan, according to our sources. Locals say Illinois prices remain too expensive and trips to Michigan to stock up and buy for friends and family are not uncommon.

Illinois spot price fell 19% from December 2022 through the first week in January 2023, although Illinois remains the most expensive wholesale cannabis in the U.S. As of last month, it is legal for anyone over 21 years old to “buy, possess, deliver, use, manufacture, and sell” cannabis in Missouri, Illinois’ neighbor to the west, signaling that competition is heating up in Illinois, but not from within the state.

Illinois vs Michigan Wholesale Prices

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