By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection
Illinois finished their first week of legal sales which resulted in over $210,000 dollars of medical cannabis being transferred, according to Joseph Wright, Director of Illinois Medical Cannabis Program. The total amounted to an average of more than 26,000 for each of the eight dispensaries that were operating. By weeks end, more than 800 patients purchased 13,000 grams (or 28 pounds) of medical marijuana from November 9th through November 13th…just 5 days.
According to their statewide tracking system, customers spent an average of more than $260 each for their medicine, and paid about $16 dollars per gram. That works out to around $450 an ounce, retail price. That is $100 dollars per ounce more than the black market street value in Illinois, according to www.thepriceofweed.com, which indicates the current price at $350 an ounce for high quality cannabis.
Even at those prices, and with only 3,300 registered patients, a total of 25 dispensaries are expected to open before the end of 2015, with 60 dispensaries authorized in the State overall. The Chicago Tribune reported that The Clinic Mundelein had 96 patients waiting to sign up when their doors opened.
Green Thumb Industries CEO Ben Kovler told the Associated Press, the sales were “a very strong start.”
An unusual requirement in medical marijuana programs, patients in illinois must designate a “dispensary of choice” where they will purchase their cannabis. Unfortunately, some patients did not appear in the database used by the Illinois Department of Public Health, so they were denied medicine even though they were prequlified patients. Wright indicated they were trying to solve those problems.
The eight medical marijuana dispensaries which have opened so far are in the cities of Addison, Canton, Marion, Mundelein, North Aurora, Ottawa, Quincy and Schaumburg.
They do tax their medical marijuana in Illinois. The program assesses a 7 percent tax on the wholesale product. The tax figures were not yet available, said Wright.
If typical markups are occurring, as in other legal states, the wholesale price of the cannabis should be around 1,800 to 2,400 a pound, which would translate into only about $4,000 dollars in tax revenue for the State, so far. But, with as many as 60 dispensaries in a couple of years opening around the state, and an increase in medical marijuana patients to come, those tax numbers will likely increase…rapidly.
Click here for a list dispensaries currently registered with the State of Illinois.
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