The last month of 2021 was a big success for recreational marijuana sales in the state of Illinois.

Illinois set a record in December helping the state to hit $1.38 billion for the year.

This was more than double compared to 2020, the first year of legal recreational sales.

Recreational cannabis sales hit a new high in December at nearly $138 million, which was up 14% from the previous month, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

The December record had surpassed the previous record set in July, when Illinois recreational weed sales hit $128 million.

The boost in sales was helped by a late-month boost from attendees at the annual Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, industry analysts said.

Taxes on legal cannabis can be up to 40 percent or more, depending on the potency of the product. Taxes collected and remitted to the comptroller for the prior calendar year total $387.7 million.

More than a third of taxes goes to the state’s general revenue fund. Ten percent goes to unpaid bills. Eight percent goes to law enforcement and two percent goes to public safety campaigns.

Nearly a quarter of every cannabis tax dollar goes to community groups through the Restore, Reinvest and Renew Program.

“Areas eligible for funding were identified using community-level data on gun injury, child poverty, unemployment, and state prison commitments and returns, combined with disproportionately impacted areas identified by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO),” the Pritzker administration said in December.

The state held lotteries in July and August for 185 new retail licenses, but they haven’t been awarded because of litigation, which may temper with expected growth.


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