Illinois Cannabis Among Most Expensive Weed in America

Headset reports several factors that contribute to high pot prices in Illinois.

If you’re facing sticker shock in Illinois, you’re not alone and your suspicions have been confirmed: Illinois ranked among the states with the most expensive retail cannabis markets in America, according to a new report by Headset.

During the first six months of 2023, Illinois sold over $950 million in total cannabis sales, making Illinois home to the third largest cannabis market in the U.S., with only California and Michigan with larger markets. Population-wise, Illinois is the sixth largest state in the country, however a limited number of brands pose several challenges to the state.

The report, “A Deep Dive into the Illinois Cannabis Market,” is designed to examine the state’s cannabis market with analytical data on thousands of products to determine how it compares to other states. Headset focused on a few key areas, including sales growth, product category popularity, pricing, basket analysis, and demographics.

Since Illinois is home to only 118 brands, the state is home to high market consolidation with 68% of sales coming from only 10 top brands. Illinois will soon be issuing 55 new retailer licenses to expand access to its domestic market. Currently, the state is home to 120 licensed retailers—very low compared to other states.

Headset reports that the category of pre-rolls—typically one of the fastest-growing categories—is the most underrepresented category in this market, clocking in at over four percentage points lower than the national average. “The category represents an area of opportunity in Illinois as Pre-Rolls in the state have seen sales increase 5.6% in the last year,” Headset reports. “In Illinois, 27% of total sales come from vertically integrated products. This is the third highest of any currently tracked state behind only Colorado (28%) and Massachusetts (44%).

“Prices in Illinois are among the highest in the country,” Headset reports. “The average item price in Illinois is currently 89% higher than the rest of the US market. Consumers over the age of 41 typically account for 36.4% of sales, however, in Illinois they capture 42.1% of total sales.”

The data was collected from real-time sales reporting by participating cannabis retailers via their point-of-sale systems. Headset stipulates, however, the potential does exist for misreporting in the instance of duplicates, incorrectly classified products, inaccurate entry of products into point-of-sale systems, or human error.

State leaders, however, are taking action to fix some of the problems that are evident in the Illinois market. For example, Illinois is the next state to allow licensed cannabis businesses to take tax deductions under Section 280E.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed a budget bill on June 7 that includes provisions for the cannabis industry, specifically regarding establishing funds dedicated for cannabis businesses and allowing them to take tax deductions.

The Fiscal Year 2024 State Budget bill includes the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act which addresses issues with cannabis businesses not being allowed to make tax deductions under Section 280E.

The budget bill also includes a provision that creates the Cannabis Business Development Fund that is aimed at helping cannabis business owners in Illinois, a fund would “provide low-interest rate loans to Qualified Social Equity Applicants” to pay for expenses such as “starting and operating” a cannabis business (and compensate the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for costs related to those low-interest loans or grants). 

The fund would also pay for outreach “targeted to attract and support” social equity applicants, as well as research involving “minorities, women, veterans, or people with disabilities in the cannabis industry.” 

  1. That’s the reason the black community is in shambles they outpriced the very people who started the market out of a market that they started and they chose to label it a crime for us and make it legal for medical purposes and u gotta pay a doc 500 for a medical card then a hundred bucks for an eighth of some dirt they could’ve got off the street if they knew some one. Capitalistic racism to outbid what they define as “negros”. We knew the properties in weed before they did we just didn’t have enough backing and resources as they did. & if we did have enough resources we were silenced and locked away for telling the truth. GOD is not mocked ! Just wait on what is due !

    1. LOL you think the black community is in shambles because they legalized marijuana? First off the use of marijuana is traced back to 2800 BC in Asia and western China. The black community didn’t start anything. Every race has exploited the illegality of cannabis in the United States. What you’ve basically stated is the black community solely thrives on illegal activity and I’m sure most black people would be offended by such a theory. I can assure you the reasoning behind marijuana prohibition wasn’t capitalistic racism, it was due to Christian belief that marijuana was dangerous. The film Reefer Madness was funded by a Christian organization to warn parents of the “dangers” of marijuana. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the prohibition of marijuana was due to ignorance, not to harm the black community. If you want to blame anyone for the state of the black community, start with rappers who glorify gang violence to impressionable youth. Enough of the race victim card.

  2. I work for a dispensary in IL and the amount of money they make is unreal. I hardly buy anything from them, and I get a discount. I can’t afford to. I make just over 15 an hour, drive 45 mins to work, meanwhile that place easily makes 100k a day.

  3. As a daily smoker from Illinois I will say the prices are a little more than other states but this article is not accurate

  4. I dont know what this guy that committed is talking about this article is spot on. Illinois does have some of the highest prices in the nation.

  5. I went to Chicago in April from DC for a concert. Stopped by a dispensary. I was floored by the amount of taxes. The quality of bud was decent, live resin carts were solid and overall wasn’t “that” expensive pre-tax but goddamn the Chicago/Illinois taxes make me grateful that I can legally grow my own. Long live the black market!

  6. Yeah idk what that one guy means by the article being inaccurate. It’s very accurate and prices here are insane especially when the same brands cost 1/6 of the price in Michigan

  7. Illinois is probably the most expensive that I have heard of yet. But we also have the best oil they make. Every other state adds a bunch of other crap to their oil to be able to stretch out the small bit of oil they made in to a bigger amount of oil to sell. When we got some from Colorado the whole side of the box had a bunch of crappy ingredients. Here in Illinois the only ingredient is marijuana. So we have better quality oil and I can tell the difference in taste.

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