Thrive shares challenges during first year of recreational marijuana

HARRISBURG, Ill. (WSIL) — Illinois brought in more than $582 million in revenue during its first year of legalized recreational marijuana. Some local dispensaries took a share of that profit but it came with challenges.

One of those is Thrive dispensary, which has has three locations in southern Illinois and sells all sorts of cannabis items ranging from edibles to marijuana buds.

News 3 spoke to Amber Ruddick, who is the General Manager at the Harrisburg location.

Ruddick says the store recently had its one-year anniversary and can recall some of the hurdles she and other employees have overcame.

“Supply was pretty slim, which isn’t anyone’s fault, Cannabis takes while to grow and process and all of that,” she remembers. “That was a big deal, so we had to wait three or four months kind of for supply to catch up to demand.”

Ruddick adds they’ve had to make some adjustments during the pandemic as well.

Those include selling products online and requiring staff and customers to follow the state’s safety guidelines like standing six-feet apart and wearing a face mask.

In just October and November, Illinois reported more than $75 million in revenue in sales with the bulk of sales coming from in-state residents.

The state has seen an additional $150 million in taxes from adult-use cannabis sales, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue in its 2020 and 20201 reports here.

At this time, the state has not released numbers for December.

The revenue figures mentioned in this article, do not include medical marijuana sales.

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