The latest official monthly sales data for recreational marijuana sales in Illinois have been published. Combined with the previous two months' data, they show that nearly $110 million worth of legal cannabis products were sold in the first quarter of 2020. That represents a solid beginning for the business in the state, where the sale and consumption of cannabis for recreational use was made legal on Jan. 1.
In March alone, revenue from adult-use sales amounted to $35.9 million, according to the numbers supplied by the state's Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. That was 3% higher than the February tally, though down 8% from January. February had two fewer days than March, while in January, there was robust buying activity due to the newness of marijuana's legal status.
"Three straight months of consistent adult use cannabis sales show there is -- and will continue to be -- strong support and demand from consumers," the Department said in its statement detailing the results.
In Illinois -- as in other U.S. states and municipalities -- dispensaries have been classified as "essential" businesses during the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, and thus have been allowed to keep operating, though with certain restrictions. They are permitted to sell cannabis products for both recreational and medical uses.
The provided data set did not break down the sales results by dispensary or dispensary operator; regardless, the consistency of the sales numbers should be welcome news for cannabis companies Cresco Labs (CRLBF 24.37%) and Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF 30.33%). Both are headquartered in Chicago, and each owns a clutch of dispensaries in the state.
Neither Cresco nor Green Thumb has offered commentary yet on Illinois's latest figures. On Monday, Cresco's shares rose by 7.7%, marginally beating most market indexes on the day. Green Thumb underperformed the market, rising a comparatively modest 3.5%.