Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration called the first day of legalized recreational marijuana successful.
Long lines of customers formed at dispensaries around the state to purchase recreational marijuana products, including in Joliet and Romeoville. State officials announced that more than 77,000 transactions yielded more than $3.1 million in sales Wednesday.
In a statement, Toi Hutchinson, the senior adviser to the governor for cannabis control, called Wednesday a “historic new day.”
“As we start a new decade, Illinois has achieved a monumental milestone – launching the legalization of cannabis in a way that includes communities left behind for far too long, creates good jobs and expunges thousands of records for those who have lost out on opportunities and ends prohibition,” Hutchinson said.
Pritzker’s administration also pointed to its work in granting pardons to individuals with low-level marijuana convictions that may have held them back from good jobs, housing and financial aid for college, according to a news release.
On Tuesday, the governor granted 11,000 pardons for Illinoisans in 92 counties. The administration added there are more than 700,000 records eligible for relief because of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act passed earlier this year.
“We are ending the 50-year-long war on cannabis,” Pritzker said. “We are restoring rights to many tens of thousands of Illinoisans. We are bringing regulation and safety to a previously unsafe and illegal market.”