Illinois Sets Record $127 Million in Marijuana Sales, Prompted in Part by Lollapalooza

Illinois dispensaries set a record $127.8 million in recreational marijuana sales in July alone, prompted in part by fans attending the 30th Lollapalooza music festival held in Chicago, the Associated Press reported.

Marijuana dispensaries around Chicago were bustling during the four-day music festival that ended Sunday and attracted many out-of-state concert goers after it was cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first time weed was legal during the event headlined this year by Miley Cyrus, Post Malone, the Foo Fighters and other artists. July's recreational cannabis sales surpassed the state's record in May which saw $116.4 million in sales, the Associated Press reported.

"We saw thousands of festivalgoers over the weekend at our River North store, making it our biggest weekend to date," said Jason Erkes, a spokesman for Cresco Labs in Chicago. Cresco Labs' Sunnyside Dispensary in River North was the closest to Lollapalooza.

"Summer tourism and the Lollapalooza attendees were strong contributors to July's out-of-state sales," he added.

Illinois saw recreational marijuana become legal in January 2020.

E-commerce cannabis company Jane also saw its sales increase during the music festival with a nearly 6 percent increase at 18 locations in Chicago from the prior four weekends.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Marijuana Dispensary in Chicago
Illinois reached a record $127.8 million in recreational marijuana sales in July, prompted in part by the Lollapalooza music festival taking place. In this photo, customer Elise Swopes makes a purchase at Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary on January 1, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

The month's sales were 10 percent higher than May's record, which were slightly higher than June's $115.6 million, according to a monthly report by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Although it's illegal to smoke or otherwise consume the drug in public or around anyone younger than 21 years old, the large crowds at Grant Park boosted sales by as much as 50 percent at nearby dispensaries in River North and the West Loop, operators told the Chicago Tribune.

In July, Illinois' 110 dispensaries sold a record 2.8 million recreational weed products. State residents spent about $85 million, while sales to out-of-state customers topped $42 million, up 16 percent from June, according to the state.

Illinois is one of 18 states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, which is still illegal under federal law. Through July, the state has generated $753 million in recreational cannabis sales, which is more than all of last year.

Total sales reached $1.03 billion last year, including $669 million in recreational weed and more than $366 million in medical marijuana sales.

Illinois has not yet released its medical marijuana sales figures for July.