Cannabis sales in Illinois, the latest state in which recreational use of marijuana has been legalized, reached nearly $11 million in the first five days of this year. This is according to data compiled by the state's Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (DFPR).
Legalization came into force last Wednesday, Jan. 1, and demand was overwhelming. Some dispensaries reported long lines of customers, more than a few of whom were not fortunate enough to obtain product. According to DFPR's data, total sales reached almost $3.2 million that day.
That line item tapers off in subsequent days. Thursday's tally was nearly $2.3 million, and on the last reported day -- Sunday -- dispensaries collectively rang up just under $1.9 million at the register.
Illinois' rollout was relatively extensive. The state allowed existing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell to the recreational segment starting on launch day. DFPR says it will grant 75 new dispensary licenses and will announce the recipients on May 1. Already, says the department, over 700 applicants have filed for more than 4,000 licenses.
Two companies directly in the eye of this storm are marijuana stocks Cresco Labs (OTC:CRLBF) and Green Thumb Industries (OTC:GTBIF), both of which operate a clutch of dispensaries in Illinois -- currently 10 for Cresco Labs and six for Green Thumb Industries.
Business has apparently been brisk for both companies. Green Thumb said in a recent press release that its Illinois outlets "have served thousands of people so far and the energy and enthusiasm from new customers has been overwhelming." It did not provide exact sales figures.
For its part, Cresco Labs said it sold product to 3,145 people on day one alone. It also did not disclose specific sales numbers.