Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois has recorded its second highest cannabis sales total since legal sales began in the state in January, according to Department of Financial and Professional Regulation figures outlined by the Chicago Sun-Times. April’s $37.3 million in adult-use sales trails only the $39.2 million worth sold in the state during January.
In Illinois, both adult-use and medical cannabis sales are considered “essential” businesses under the state’s stay-at-home order. The rules require shoppers to stand six feet apart in stores and in lines, and allow for curbside pickup for medical cannabis patients and their caregivers.
Toi Hutchinson, the governor’s senior adviser for cannabis control, said customer safety during the pandemic is the administration’s “top priority” for the industry.
“The steps we’ve taken to increase social distancing at dispensaries are accomplishing that, while also enabling this new industry to continue to grow.” – Hutchinson to the Sun-Times
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order April 30 relaxing licensing requirements for industry employees, no longer requiring them to wait for the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to issue them an identification card to start work, according to a Law360 report. The move comes as some cannabusinesses in the state are facing a staffing shortage due to sick or at-risk workers.
The order also temporarily ends the requirement that dispensary employees must have a current ID card and have it visible at all times while working, as long as they have submitted an application to the department.
According to regulators, Illinois residents purchased $29.7 million of the adult-use cannabis sold in the state in April, the rest was bought by out-of-state residents. In all, about 819,000 sales were counted over the course of the month.
Since January, recreational cannabis sales have topped $147 million in Illinois.