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.