Over 34% of Cannabis Sales in Illinois Going to Out-Of-State Customers Photo: Ozzie Stern/Unsplach
November 8, 2021

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) published adult use sales figures for October 2021 this week. Adult use retailers sold over $123 million in the month of October, a 1.4% increase over September 2021’s sales.

Illinois residents represented $81.2 million, or 65.8%, of total sales, while out-of-state buyers purchased $42.2 million worth of legal cannabis products, or 34.2% of total sales. Total adult use sales, including in-state and out-of-state sales, are up 63.9% year-on-year; out-of-state sales have soared 105% year-on-year and in-state sales are up 48.4% year on year.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in less travel, depressing sales to out-of-state purchasers. However, the proportion of total adult use revenues made up by out-of-state sales in October 2021 is comparable to February 2020, prior to the pandemic arriving in the U.S.

Items sold increased about 2% month-on-month but were up 77% year-on-year. The average price per item in October was $44.74, down $0.30 from $45.04 in September and down $3.58 from a year ago.

The Illinois average Spot price for 2021 was $217 higher than a year ago. Spot price remains in an uptrend amid significant consolidation of cultivation, multi-state demand, and a legal quagmire surrounding new licenses. When those new licenses are eventually granted, there will be more competition among sellers, but demand is unlikely to decline as long as contiguous states do not have legal markets.

In fact, wholesale demand will almost certainly increase with the opening of new retailers as there will be more stores serving consumers and more shelf space to stock. Given Illinois’ high population and relatively small number of licensed adult use retailers – 110 as of this writing – additional storefronts should boost sales significantly by expanding convenient access to the legal market, rather than diluting sales amongst existing stores.

Yet another lawsuit has created a delay in awarding Illinois cannabis licenses. The Chicago Tribune reports a Sangamon County judge has issued an order delaying the state from issuing deficiency notices to applicants that had not won the 75 license lottery held earlier this year. The state, amid accusations of inaccurate or unfair scoring, had offered potential licensees the chance to “cure” errors in their initial applications. Effectively, plaintiffs maintain the state should not allow applications to be cured. A hearing on this matter was scheduled for November 5.