It hasn't even been a month since Illinois began selling recreational pot, and the state is already well on its way to another first: a marijuana consumption lounge. On Tuesday, the Springfield City Council granted a permit for HCI Alternatives, which is changing its name to Illinois Supply & Provisions, to open a lounge downtown where consumers can use cannabis.
While there is no specific date set for the lounge to open, the owner believes it could be as early as April.
It's an important milestone for the industry in Illinois because with many restrictions on where marijuana can be consumed, Alderwoman Doris Turner of the city council said that, "These on-site lounges provide some safety for individuals who are 21 and over that want to consume a legal product, and I believe that people will be responsible and they will react and act in the same way if they go downtown to a bar."
A roaring start for Illinois since legalization
Things have been going very well for Illinois in its first month of recreational pot sales. During the first week, consumers spent almost $13 million, and that total reached nearly $20 million after just 12 days.
The booming sales are a great sign for Chicago-based cannabis producer and retailer Cresco Labs (CRLBF -5.29%), which currently has five locations in Illinois and another three coming soon. A strong Illinois market, especially one that permits lounges, could be a great way for the pot stock to accelerate its sales growth and help it inch closer to breakeven. Last quarter, Cresco incurred a net loss of $7 million on revenue of $36 million.