2 Years Later: Assessing Recreational Marijuana in Illinois

With public support increasing each year, the pace of marijuana reform in the United States continues to pick up speed. However, even though legal cannabis is surely picking up steam, taking a look back at states that have fully implemented and carried out functional cannabis programs is vital for the industry’s further success.

As of January 1st, 2022, the state of Illinois has now completed two years of legal recreational marijuana sales. With the December numbers being added up, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is expected to pull upwards of $1.3 billion in revenue through legal marijuana sales for 2021.

Let’s take a look at some of the upcoming progressions and developments of the Illinois cannabis market, and what the state is looking to accomplish going into 2022.

Illinois’ Legal Cannabis Industry: What’s to Come in 2022

Here are just some of the many expected progressions for legal cannabis in Illinois in 2022:

  • Grants that will support programs meant to reinvest in communities.
  • A plethora of new dispensary licenses in the state.
  • A rethinking of cannabis laws for licenses and drug testing policies in the state for the years to come.


Marijuana-Funded Grants

Illinois state officials announced in mid-December that applications for new grants are again opening, but this year for $45 million—funded by marijuana tax revenue that will aim to support programs to reinvest in communities.

“In 2021, we invested 25% of the tax revenue from adult-use cannabis into Illinois communities. That’s $31.5M of Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) funds to 200 organizations + partners!” Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton (D) tweeted last month.

These funds come from a part of the state’s (R3) program, established under its adult-use cannabis legalization law. It requires that 25 percent of marijuana tax dollars be put in and used to provide disproportionally impacted communities with services such as legal aid, youth development, community reentry assistance, and financial support.


Cannabis Dispensary Licensing

One of the most exciting things about legal cannabis is the opportunity it affords entrepreneurs to get involved in dispensary culture and business. With more diversity in the industry, we’ll therefore see a diverse selection of products to cater to the tastes of a wide array of consumers.
As we enter 2022, we hope to continue to see more efforts that are intended to streamline the original licensing guidelines, as well as the continued progression of the granting of cannabis dispensary licenses in the state.


Illinois’ Developing Cannabis Market

The sheer numbers don’t lie. With over a billion in sales, incoming laws aimed at fixing current license regulations, and huge grants to aid Illinois communities, the state could be on a path to mold a better, fixed future with legal cannabis.


2022 Illinois Cannabis Conventions

In the rapidly developing Illinois legal cannabis market, change is not only made online or with legislature, but also in person. As always, Cannifest and NECANN are taking place in Chicago, 2022.


These two big events focus on the Illinois marijuana market while bringing some of the best in the industry together in the Windy City, in order to educate and amplify messages to the cannabis market and community.

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