From left: Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, Cresco Labs CEO and co-founder Charlie Bachtell and Cresco president and co-founder Joe Caltabiano at Cresco’s Sunnyside - Lakeview dispensary on Jan. 1. Cresco’s stores—in Chicago, Champaign, Rockford, Buffalo Grove and Elmwood Park—sold more than 9,000 products on New Year’s Day, according to a press release from the company.
Photo courtesy of Cresco Labs

More than 40 dispensaries sold adult-use product on Jan. 1, and $3.2 million in sales and more than 77,000 transactions marked the historic first day of adult-use cannabis sales in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The state reported $20 million in adult-use sales after the first 12 days. With demand still high, questions about supply and taxes creep up and conversations continue about equal minority representation in the space.

Full story: bit.ly/illinois-adult-use-sales

South Dakota Places Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Initiatives on Same Ballot

In early January, South Dakota became the first U.S. State to place medical and adult-use cannabis legalization measures on the same ballot, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett’s office issued a press release on Dec. 19, 2019, officially certifying an adult-use legalization initiative led by South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws. In December, the state certified a statutory initiative led by New Approach South Dakota to enact a medical cannabis law in the state.

Full story: bit.ly/south-dakota-ballot-initiatives

California Governor Proposes Consolidating Three Cannabis Licensing Authorities

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget would consolidate the state’s three cannabis licensing authorities into one organization “in an effort to improve access to licensing and simplify regulatory oversight of commercial cannabis activity,” according to a press release issued Jan. 10 by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. That agency, along with California’s Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Public Health, is up for possible restructuring under this plan. Newsom’s proposal would pin the consolidation to a July 2021 deadline, and more information will be coming this spring.

Full story: bit.ly/california-cannabis-licensing-authorities

New York Governor Renews Push for Cannabis Legalization

After last year’s failed attempt at cannabis legalization in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is renewing his push for policy reform in 2020. The Democrat vowed to legalize adult-use cannabis this year in his Jan. 8 State of the State Address and included a plan to legalize and tax cannabis in a state budget proposal released Jan. 21.

Full story: bit.ly/new-york-cannabis-legalization