ILLINOIS (WAND) - Legal Illinois adult-use cannabis sales passed $19.7 million from Jan. 1 to Jan. 12, updated statistics showed. 

The new numbers, released Monday by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, showed 495,385 transactions occurred at state dispensaries through Sunday. The amount of money raised was highest on Jan. 1, with over 77,000 transactions and more than $3.1 million in sales in just that day.

State leaders are again stressing 25 percent of revenue from the cannabis sales tax will go to the Restore, Reinvest and Renew (R3) program, which has a focus on addressing results of economic disinvestment, violence and the historical overuse of the criminal justice system. The state expects to have a tax revenue estimate available when initial payments from dispensaries are due by the end of February. 

“Illinois had a far more successful launch of cannabis than many of the other states that have legalized, but this is about more than money, it’s about starting a new industry in a way that includes communities left behind for far too long," said Toi Hutchinson, senior advisor to Gov. JB Pritzker for cannabis control. "Members of those communities will have the opportunity to apply for licenses to open a dispensary, become a craft grower or infuser or transport product under the new law. Illinois is the only state in the country to take an equity-centric approach to the legalization of cannabis and I thank all those who worked hard to make the launch a success."

The application process for cannabis infuser, transporter and craft grower licenses began on Jan. 7. Applications are available online at this link

Those applications are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16, with licenses expected to be awarded by July 1. 

Additional points are available in the application process for those who meet social equity status. They will have access to technical help, grants, informational workshops, low-interest loans and fee reductions and waivers. 

State officials said they will release more about the timing and location of workshops in the coming weeks.

Digital content producer with experience in reporting, producing and writing. Proudly celebrating three years in central Illinois!

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