Well, well, well, looks like weed is doing more than just getting people high in Illinois - it's also creating jobs.

Marijuana + Illinois = Billions, with a B

But hold your horses, folks, it's not just the job creation that's impressive. The state has also raked in a record-high of $1.5 billion in cannabis sales in 2022. That's enough green to make even the most seasoned pothead envious. And there are now more than 100 dispensaries in the state, with three social equity licensees joining the party last year after a long wait.

But it's not all rainbows and unicorns, as state regulators reported a lack of diversity among business owners in the adult-use marijuana market. The industry is set to expand with nearly 200 new social equity businesses coming online, which hopefully means more diversity in the industry.


And let's not forget that the tax revenue generated by the weed market is being put to good use. The state has awarded $45 million in grants funded by marijuana tax dollars to support community reinvestment in areas "hardest hit by the failed war on drugs".

"We're sorry for the war on drugs." - Illinois

And with $3.5 million in cannabis-generated funds going towards reducing violence through street intervention programs, it looks like the state is serious about making amends for the damage caused by the war on drugs.

How many jobs were created in Illinois because of the legalization of marijuana?

The governor says the marijuana legalization law has given birth to 30,000 jobs since its launch in 2020. Who knew that legalizing weed could bring so much happiness to the people of Illinois?

Credit: Add Weed, Unsplash
Credit: Add Weed, Unsplash

Did you know this about Illinois' newfound acceptance of weed?

But perhaps the most heartwarming of all is the fact that over 500,000 expungements and pardons for people with low-level cannabis convictions have been processed, and courts cannot deny petitions to expunge or seal records based on a positive drug test for marijuana.

In fact, a state-funded initiative has also been established to help those with marijuana convictions get legal aid and other services to have their records expunged.

Read More: What's Next For Legal Cannabis In Illinois, Home Delivery?

All in all, it looks like the weed industry is bringing more than just munchies and giggles to the people of Illinois. It's creating jobs, generating revenue, and making positive changes in the community. So let's all raise a joint to that.

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