A woman walks by restaurant windows with the words “WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER” written outside the Aloft hotel in the Gold Coast neighborhood on April 1, 2020, in Chicago.
Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois marijuana dispensaries sold almost $36 million worth of legal weed in March — an increase over February — even as the coronavirus pandemic shut down the state and people were ordered to stay at home.
Purchases by out-of-state residents comprised roughly one-quarter of sales, according to data from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which regulates dispensaries.
March sales were up slightly over February sales, which totaled about $35
million, and down from the $39.2 million in revenue dispensaries brought in during January, the first month of recreational sales in the state.
The state public health director on Wednesday issued a somber warning that Illinois residents can expect mounting numbers of illness and death in the new month from the vicious spread of the coronavirus.
The 6,980 cases of COVID-19 reported by Dr. Ngoze Ezike are double the state’s total just last Saturday. Along with 986 new cases reported Wednesday were 42 deaths, the largest single-day increase since the first was reported March 17, bringing the state’s total to 141.
“The coming weeks are going to get more and more difficult as the number of cases and deaths continue to rise …,” Ezike said. “Let’s be strong and courageous. Don’t be terrified, don’t