Illinois' first day of legal recreational cannabis translated to a good chunk of green -- nearly $3.2 million in sales.
The state's 37 dispensaries churned through 77,128 transactions to tally more than $3.17 million in first-day sales, said Toi Hutchinson, Governor JB Prtizker's senior adviser for cannabis control, in a news conference on Thursday.
"The amazing thing about that is that there's a significant portion of these dollars that go directly into this community reinvestment fund, so we can continue to rebuild communities that have been hardest hit by the war on drugs," Hutchinson said. "So sales are great but let's never lose sight on the impact that we're having on families around this state."
Last year, Illinois made history when it became the first state to legalize adult-use cannabis via a legislative measure. Its regulations also have been heralded for addressing social justice and social equity concerns. Earlier this week, Prtizker expunged 11,017 records for misdemeanor cannabis convictions.
On Wednesday, people came out in droves for Illinois' first day of legal weed sales, with hundreds lining up outside dispensaries in the bitterly cold early morning. States such as Colorado and California also saw similar scenes on their first days of legal recreational cannabis sales in 2014 and 2018, respectively.
"This is one of those moments where we recognize that the significance of yesterday was that it was the end of prohibition and the beginning of how we hope to grow a new industry here in Illinois and then teach other states how to do it," Hutchinson said.
Illinois is the 11th US state to legalize the sale of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes.