Illinois dispensaries hit record pot sales with help from Lollapalooza music festival – MarketWatch

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois dispensaries sold a record $127.8 million in recreational marijuana in July, with a big boost coming from out-of-state fans who converged on Chicago for the Lollapalooza music festival.

The month’s sales were 10% higher than May’s record of $116.4 million, which were slightly higher than June’s $115.6 million, according to a monthly report by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Business boomed at Chicago-area cannabis dispensaries during the four-day Lollapalooza festival, which ended Sunday and which returned after last year’s event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Because recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois in January 2020, pot was legal in the state during Lollapalooza for the first time in the festival’s 30-year history. 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% at nearby dispensaries in River North and the West Loop, operators told the Chicago Tribune.

“We saw thousands of festivalgoers over the weekend at our River North store, making it our biggest weekend to date,” said Jason Erkes, spokesman for Chicago-based Cresco Labs, whose Sunnyside Dispensary in

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