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Illinois Pot is legal

Sales began this morning at 0600 in Illinois, the 11th state to legalize and the first state to do so by legislative action, not by citizen petition. There are about 30 stores open today state-wide, around half in the Chicago area.

The lines are very long, by far the longest I’ve seen on other opening days. The shops will run out of inventory very quickly despite extra effort the last month to stock up. And it’s about 20 degrees out there.

But I doubt the Lt. Governor of Illinois had to wait in the cold to make her purchase on the first day.

Illinois and Michigan (they opened on Dec 1) both have the gold-standard laws and regulations right now. Any other states considering this move will be looking at their work for a successful implementation. While Illinois opens today with 30 stores, they are only planning for 185 by the end of the year, and 500 maximum. This is too few. WA, OR, and CO have about that many each, and there are a lot more people in Illinois. That’s an easy one to fix, though.

And Illinois is the first state to have a “social equity” program in place that has a chance of actually working. Everyone in policy circles is watching that in particular.

As expected, prices are extremely high, about twice what you’d pay in other states at “regular” pot shops. Taxes are on the low side, so once the market settles down, costs should go down a lot.

Illinois and Michigan have 5 bordering prohibition states, which expands their market reach considerably.

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