Illinois Weed Sales Reach Record-Setting High in 2022, Literally
As the saying goes, "money doesn't grow on trees," but apparently in Illinois, it grows on cannabis plants. In 2022, the state hit a marijuana milestone in adult-use marijuana sales, according to data released by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
But what does one do with all that green? Well, for starters, the state plans to use a portion of the funds to address social equity issues and provide grants for communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. In other words, Illinois is turning over a new leaf and using the profits from marijuana sales to mend the fences it broke during the war on drugs.
Other Ways To Spend The Profit
But let's be real, let’s hope the state doesn’t waste the dough on snack foods because of the munchies. Before the big reveal of the astounding amount of money brought in by recreational marijuana, here are a few creative ideas on how Illinois can spend its cannabis cash.
The Great Illinois Pot Hole Patch-Up:
The roads in Illinois have seen better days, with potholes big enough to swallow a small car whole. The state could finally fix all those pesky potholes and smooth the ride for drivers.
The Illinois Cannabis Caffeine Cure:
Illinois has some of the highest coffee prices in the country, with a cup of joe often costing more than a gram of marijuana. With all that marijuana money, the state could open up its own chain of cannabis coffee shops, providing a cheaper and arguably more enjoyable alternative to traditional coffee.
The Illinois Cannabis University:
Higher education is expensive, with college tuition costs continuing to rise. Illinois could create its own marijuana-focused university, offering affordable higher education to its residents and focusing on marijuana-related courses such as cannabis horticulture and marijuana business management.
The Illinois Cannabis Community Center:
Illinois has a diverse population, with many different cultures and communities calling the state home. The state could create community centers in various neighborhoods, offering resources and programming for residents to come together and learn about different cultures and ways of life.
The Illinois Cannabis Concert:
Illinois is home to some of the best music festivals in the country, but they can be expensive to attend. The state could host its own cannabis-themed music festival, featuring top artists and offering affordable tickets to concert-goers. Plus, attendees could enjoy a legal and safe place to consume marijuana while enjoying the music.
Of course, these are just a few ideas and there are endless possibilities for how Illinois can spend its marijuana profits. But one thing is for sure, the state is definitely rolling in the green.
So how much cash did Illinois bring in with weed sales? A record $1.5 billion in adult-use sales in 2022. This is a huge accomplishment, and it's certainly a cause for celebration. But let's be real: the real winners here are snack companies.
Think about it. When people are enjoying a nice, relaxing high, what do they typically crave? Chips, dips, candy, and all manner of munchies. In fact, it's a well-known fact that marijuana use can increase appetite, leading to what's affectionately known as "the munchies."
So as marijuana sales continue to rise in Illinois (and let's be honest, they're probably going to keep rising), snack companies can expect to see a corresponding increase in sales. It's a beautiful, symbiotic relationship.
But it's not just chips and dip that stand to benefit. Pizza delivery companies, fast food chains, and even high-end restaurants could see an uptick in business. This could have a major financial impact all over the country. After all, who doesn't love a nice, greasy burger or a steaming hot slice of pepperoni after a few hits of the good stuff?
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's still a lot of work to be done to fully legalize marijuana across the United States. There are still many states where it remains illegal, and there are plenty of people who are opposed to legalization for one reason or another.
Legalizing Marijuana Is A Win-Win
However, the success of states like Illinois is a promising sign. It shows that legalization can be a win-win for everyone involved. Not only do marijuana users get to enjoy their favorite pastime legally, but snack companies get to see a boost in business as well. It's a win-win situation for all involved.
So let's raise a bag of chips (or a joint, if that's your thing) to Illinois and all the other states that are leading the way in marijuana legalization. Here's hoping that more states follow their lead and that the snack industry continues to thrive as a result.
[h/t Marijuana Moment]