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Despite the pandemic, cannabis sales in Illinois continue to increase. But it’s not just in-state sales. Sales to out-of-state consumers in Illinois has nearly doubled since January.

Of the nearly $64 million in total adult-use cannabis sales in Illinois for August, $17.2 million was in “out-of-state resident sales.” That’s nearly double the $8.6 million in out-of-state sales back in January.

Pam Althoff, executive director of cannabis business group CannaBiz, said people are more anxious because of COVID-19.

 

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“The knowledge is now common that Illinois did pass recreational cannabis use, is now out there and people are coming in and trying,” Althoff said.

Brandon Costerison, with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, said that substance use has increased across the board.

“So it makes sense that Illinois being kind of an island of legalized recreational marijuana would probably see an increase in use among its residents, but also a substantial increase of use from surrounding states,” Costerison said, noting there are programs available for people who have substance use disorders.

It’s illegal to take cannabis sold in Illinois across state lines, but it’s unclear how much adult-use cannabis purchased in Illinois is spilling out to neighboring states.

One source with Indiana State Police said they make cannabis arrests, but didn’t disclose any other details, like whether the cannabis came from Illinois.

Messages seeking reaction from Missouri State Police weren’t returned Wednesday, but online arrest reports for the St. Louis area, which is minutes from a cannabis dispensary in Collinsville, show several arrests in the past few days for either a wax cannabis product or for being caught with at least 28 grams or more of cannabis, though no indication if it’s coming from Illinois.

Althoff said cannabis retailers convey the law to out-of-state purchasers with signage.

“They certainly have individuals who are outside and telling people. And when you go into a dispensary you must show some form of identification, a state ID of some sort, and obviously, if it’s an out of state license you get that lecture when you walk in that you’re limited to a specific amount,” Althoff said.

Illinoisans can purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis flower. Out-of-state visitors can buy half of that.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)

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