CHAMPAIGN — At least 1,000 people were served at two dispensaries in Champaign-Urbana on the first day of legal marijuana sales, and customers continued to arrive by the hundreds on Day 2.
Both Sunnyside Dispensary in Champaign and NuMed in Urbana opened at 6 a.m. Thursday for the second day in a row, and both had long lines of customers standing outside their doors in the afternoon. The line outside NuMed wrapped around two sides of the building, and Sunnyside’s line stretched well into the parking lot.
“It’s been wonderful,” said Sean Alber, lead agent in charge at NuMed Urbana.
Jason Erkes, a spokesman for Sunnyside owner Cresco Labs, said the dispensary in Champaign served just under 600 customers on New Year’s Day, the first day Illinois began permitting adults to buy weed from licensed dispensaries for recreational use.
“We’re still going strong,” Erkes said Thursday.
NuMed Urbana served just under 500 people Wednesday, and by mid-afternoon Thursday had served another 400.
“We’ll probably beat yesterday,” Alber predicted.
One reason for that may be that medical-marijuana patients, some of whom may have stayed away on the first day of recreational sales Wednesday, were returning to buy products on Thursday, he said.
Despite the lines, police on site at the Urbana dispensary haven’t had to deal with any misbehavior, Alber said.
“Everybody seems to be pretty calm,” he said.
Statewide, dispensaries that opened for recreational sales on Wednesday together handled 77,128 transactions and racked up just shy of $3.2 million in sales, according to the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.
Cresco Labs’ five Sunnyside Dispensaries in Illinois together served 3,145 people and sold 9,258 cannabis products on Day 1, the company said.
Both Erkes and Alber declined to disclose dollar figures for their facilities' opening-day sales. The average price per sale at all Sunnyside locations Wednesday in Illinois was $135, according to Cresco Labs.
NuMed wasn’t making cannabis flower (which is smoked) available to recreational customers Wednesday or Thursday to prioritize its supply for medical-marijuana patients, Alber said.
Due to a statewide shortage of cannabis flower, he said he didn’t know how soon NuMed Urbana would begin selling it to recreational customers.
Sunnyside still had cannabis flower available for recreational customers as of Thursday, but was continuing to limit the amount per sale to 7 grams.
Legalized weed sales aren’t just earning money for dispensary owners. Both Champaign and Urbana approved a 3 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana.