Legalization of Recreational Marijuana in Illinois

By: Katie Carpenter

On January 1st, 2020 Illinois legalized marijuana for recreational adult use. This means that adults over the age of 21 can legally buy, transport, store, and use cannabis. Besides the myriad of medicinal uses for marijuana, keeping this substance illegal was a obvious waste of resources and time.

Economically, legalization is a huge source of income for the states who approved the legislation. In 2019, the recreational sales for the state of Colorado passed the $1 billion-dollar mark since the legalization was put in to place 5 years prior. For Illinois, the launch of recreational marijuana sales has since brought in $3.92 million-dollars.

In a Daily Herald article titled, “Why Recreational Pot Supply is Falling Short of Demand in Illinois” the authors, Ellen Ferrarin and Marie Wilson highlight the struggles dispensaries have supply and demand. The process of growing weed is strenuous as it can take up to 4 months to produce the product. As with anything the novelty of recreational marijuana is at an all-time high, as it has only been available for 6 weeks.

Though the demand is high, this problem could be attributed to the strict rules and regulations the state of Illinois has placed on growers of the plant and owners of dispensaries. The costs accompanied with opening up a dispensary is $30,000 annually, plus other associated fees. The permit cost in order to start a commercial growing operation in Illinois is $200,000. With prices like these it is no wonder that the supply of recreational marijuana is low.

The regulations put in place by the state can obstruct the success rate for the market legalized weed. By making operating costs so high for growers and owners produces a ripple effect to consumers who want to revel in this new experience. With dispensaries running out of their marijuana products, this could risk reliability and leave customers with a sense of skepticism towards the current process that’s in place.

4 thoughts on “Legalization of Recreational Marijuana in Illinois

  1. It’s pretty cool how marijuana is now being legalized in some states. Although, federally it’s still illegal to be in possession of it. I hope that soon it will be made legal federally, and those in jail for petty possession charges will be exonerated. The Netflix documentary “The 13th” sheds some light on the criminalization of African Americans in the United States. I would bet that most of the men in prisons are in there for petty crimes that anyone else would have been pardoned of. Hopefully, the statewide legalization is a step forward into a more progressive era in the country.


  2. Pingback: Marijuana Legalized? – Laurence News

  3. I think your post is very interesting. I feel like when people think about the legalization of marijuana people only talk about how it’ll boost the economy. I never really thought about the production of it. The demand is high, and just thinking about how dispensaries are trying to keep up with it is something that we need to really think about. I know prices are already high when purchasing from dispensaries but will that mean that we can possibly see them go higher with the high demand? We can also ask how long will some dispensaries remain open with having such high production costs.


  4. Me honestly, I am with legalizing marijuana, it is a good medicine for people that need it. I agree with you on that it was a “waste of time and resources,” the economy could have been doing better if it was legalized before. The legalization of marijuana has decreased crime and arrest, it has boosted up the economy. You have mentioned really good on how the legalization is good step and that it has bring in a lot of money to the economy, but you did not mentioned on how the legalization of marijuana has some bad effects on society.


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