Marijuana dispensaries in Illinois are doing very well despite the coronavirus pandemic. The stores have been deemed an essential good which has allowed consumers to keep getting their cannabis.

The Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation reported $61 million in recreational marijuana sales last month represented a 28% increase over June. These figures do not even include medical marijuana sales.

Sales of recreational marijuana have been rising each month since February. Sales began in January but saw a slight drop in the second month.

This year recreational pot dispensaries in Illinois have sold nearly 6.7 million marijuana products worth a total of more than $300 million.

The state has delayed plans to issue 75 new dispensary licenses however due to the pandemic. The licenses were supposed to go out May 1, with preference given to so-called “social equity” applicants, who are eligible for lower fees and for business loans to help get their businesses off the ground.

In order to qualify as a social equity applicant, a majority of the company’s ownership must either have spent 5 of the last 10 years living in an area disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, or have a prior arrest or conviction for a drug-related crime that is eligible for engagement; or have at least 10 full-time employees, most of whom who would meet the social equity requirements.

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