More than 77,000 transactions netted nearly $3.2 million in marijuana product sales on the first day of legal cannabis in Illinois, the state announced Thursday.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation reported 77,128 transactions took place at cannabis dispensaries around Illinois, generating $3,176,256.71 on Day 1.
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“As we start a new decade, Illinois has achieved a monumental milestone," said Toi Hutchinson, senior advisor to the governor for cannabis control, in a statement, "launching the legalization of cannabis in a way that includes communities left behind for far too long, creates good jobs and expunges thousands of records for those who have lost out on opportunities and ends prohibition."
While some disagree with the level of social equity worked into the state's legal marijuana plan, thousands of residents lined up early Wednesday to be among the first to purchase cannabis as recreational marijuana officially became legal.
"I wanted to be first in line because I have waited 46 years for this moment," he said Arnold Winslow, who walked nearly two hours to make the first purchase in Elmwood Park at Sunnyside dispensary.
Winslow said he hopes to frame the gram of weed he purchased to "have a momento."
Some dispensaries used paging systems similar to restaurants, others partnered with local restaurants to offer a warm place to wait before making a purchase. In Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, a coffee pop-up sprouted outside with a movie marathon and cannabis-themed trivia.
At EarthMed Dispensary in Chicago, which claims it has been the "busiest independent dispensary in the state," the first 100 customers also received a commemorative T-shirt with their purchase.
Purchases are restricted to anyone 21 and older with a government-issued ID. Non-Illinois residents won’t be able to buy as much as residents and all purchases must be made in cash.