Marijuana sales in Illinois have spiked during the coronavirus pandemic

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Marijuana sales in Illinois have been spiking during the coronavirus pandemic, raking in millions for dispensaries and the state alike.

Since cannabis became legal in the Land of Lincoln on New Year’s Day, recreational sales have surpassed $300 million in 2020 – $225 million since the pandemic began in March, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Of that total, $61 million – or about one-fifth – worth of weed was sold in July alone, more than in any month this year. 

The Illinois government has also brought in $66.8 million in tax revenues from cannabis sales in 2020. 

Since recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois on January 1, sales have surpassed $300 million. Pictured: Illinois Lt Gov. Juliana Stratton reacts after purchasing recreational marijuana at Sunnyside dispensary, January 1

Since recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois on January 1, sales have surpassed $300 million. Pictured: Illinois Lt Gov. Juliana Stratton reacts after purchasing recreational marijuana at Sunnyside dispensary, January 1

Since recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois on January 1, sales have surpassed $300 million. Pictured: Illinois Lt Gov. Juliana Stratton reacts after purchasing recreational marijuana at Sunnyside dispensary, January 1

At least $200 million has been made since the coronavirus pandemic began in March and $61 million was sold in July alone. Pictured: Customers shop for a recreational marijuana at Dispensary 33 store in Chicago, Illinois, January 1

At least $200 million has been made since the coronavirus pandemic began in March and $61 million was sold in July alone. Pictured: Customers shop for a recreational marijuana at Dispensary 33 store in Chicago, Illinois, January 1

At least $200 million has been made since the coronavirus pandemic began in March and $61 million was sold in July alone. Pictured: Customers shop for a recreational marijuana at Dispensary 33 store in Chicago, Illinois, January 1

From April to June, the average transaction was about $150 up from an average of about $126 from January to March. Pictured: Customers show their purchases after shopping at Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary, January 1

From April to June, the average transaction was about $150 up from an average of about $126 from January to March. Pictured: Customers show their purchases after shopping at Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary, January 1

From April to June, the average transaction was about $150 up from an average of about $126 from January to March. Pictured: Customers show their purchases after shopping at Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary, January 1

Using figures from New Frontier Data, the Tribune found that the amount Illinoisans are spending at marijuana dispensaries has increased.  

From April to June, the average transaction was about $150, up from an average of about $126 from January to March.

This is similar to increases seen in other states. In Colorado, for example, pot sales were up 17 percent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same time last year, the Tribune reported. 

Experts say there are a number of reasons for the increase in marijuana sales.

They say people may have turned to cannabis to cope with the financial and health crises.

When lockdowns were imposed, dispensaries were deemed essential businesses.

The Tribune said the online ordering many dispensaries have in place have also kept their number of sales steady, particularly when customers couldn’t shop in person. 

Katie Johnston-Smith, 33 who lives in Roscoe Village, a neighborhood of Chicago, told the newspaper, she began feeling anxiety when the coronavirus pandemic first struck. She said edibles helped her sleep.

‘It was pretty nice, because it did help me mellow out,’ Johnston-Smith told the Tribune. 

‘I was like: “Oh, this is way better than mellowing out with a glass of wine.”‘

Experts say this is partly because Americans are turning to cannabis to cope and because dispensaries were deemed essential businesses. Pictured: Customers wait in line outside Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary in Chicago, January 1

Experts say this is partly because Americans are turning to cannabis to cope and because dispensaries were deemed essential businesses. Pictured: Customers wait in line outside Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary in Chicago, January 1

Experts say this is partly because Americans are turning to cannabis to cope and because dispensaries were deemed essential businesses. Pictured: Customers wait in line outside Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary in Chicago, January 1

State officials believe cannabis sales could generate $250 million for Illinois. Pictured A food truck sits outside the Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary on January 1

State officials believe cannabis sales could generate $250 million for Illinois. Pictured A food truck sits outside the Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary on January 1

State officials believe cannabis sales could…

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