March 4, 2019

Retail Sales of Cannabis Products in Illinois for January 2019 Up Nearly 50% Compared to January 2018

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which oversees the state’s medical cannabis program, recently issued an update on patient numbers and sales figures for January. Retail sales opened 2019 by declining from the record high established at the end of last year, while monthly wholesale revenues jumped to reach a new historic peak for the state’s market. The state’s Spot Index was generally stable and maintained the relatively high rates that marked the final months of 2018.

According to IDPH data, retail sales of medical cannabis in January totaled $12,693,528, down by 8.3% compared to December 2018’s revenues of $13,844,253. While December’s revenues still represent the highest monthly sales total ever recorded in Illinois’ market, January’s are the second highest.

Of January’s sales total, 47.7% – or $6,052,870 – went to purchase flower, a proportion up slightly from the month prior, when the percentage was 47%. Sales revenue from concentrates, edibles, and other infused products has consistently exceeded that from flower in recent months, albeit by small margins of around 3% or less.

January 2019’s retail revenues are up by 49.6% year-over-year, compared to over $8.4 million in sales recorded in the same month in 2018. Last year, full-year sales figures increased by roughly 58% compared to those of 2017. While January’s year-over-year growth suggests that the expansion of Illinois’ market may have slowed in that month, the state’s new Opioid Alternative Pilot Program is expected to bring more patients into the system.

As of the end of January, though, new patients continued to enroll at rates comparable to those observed previously. IDPH has approved almost 54,500 patient applications since the opening of the state’s registry in September 2014, up by roughly 2,135 patients from a month ago. 55 dispensaries served 29,153 unique patients in January, down by about 800 unique patients compared to the previous month.

Each patient purchased, on average, 19.3 grams of flower in January, down from 20.3 grams in December. The average retail price of a gram of flower in Illinois in January was $10.73, up a bit from $10.68 in December. However, January’s mean per-gram retail price for flower was down compared to $10.81 in November, as well as from just over $11 in both September and October.

On the wholesale side, Illinois cultivation centers recorded $7,189,714 in revenues in January, up by 10.5% from the $6,505,774 in supply side sales documented in December. January’s cultivator revenues represent a new record for Illinois’ medical cannabis market, slightly exceeding the previous high of over $7.11 million recorded in August 2018.