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Illinois Sets A New Recreational Cannabis Sales Record for 2023 in July, Minnesota’s Hemp-Derived THC Beverage Market is Thriving, and A Group of Hemp Businesses Sue Arkansas Over Delta THC Product Ban

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Illinois Sets A New Recreational Cannabis Sales Record for 2023 in July

Illinois cannabis sales for July 2023 hit a record high for the year. The state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR) released July’s sales figures on Thursday, and they showed that July has seen the strongest recreational marijuana sales for 2023 and the second-highest monthly total since sales began in 2020. According to the data, 3,580,946 adult-use cannabis products were sold in July for a total of $140,048,722. DFPR further broke down the numbers, finding that $104,256,118 of total sales for July came from in-state residents, and out-of-state visitors purchased $35,792,604 in recreational cannabis products. The only month that saw higher sales was December 2022, when the state saw $143,899,826 in adult-use sales. 

Minnesota’s Hemp-Derived THC Beverage Market is Thriving

On August 1st, the possession, use, sale, and home-growing of marijuana officially became legal in Minnesota. Adult-use sales are expected to launch in approximately one year. Currently –  in a trend that bodes well for the state’s impending start of recreational cannabis sales – Minnesota is one of the most prosperous markets for low-dose, hemp-derived THC drinks. Industry experts suspect the success of the THC beverage market in the state is likely due to broad retail access across the state as well as Minnesota’s geographic location. The closest states where legal recreational cannabis are Illinois and Michigan, and they are hours away. State lawmakers worked to ensure that hemp-derived beverages would be accessible, allowing them to be sold at grocery stores, liquor stores, and even restaurants. In many other states, these products are prohibited from being sold in these locations. Minnesota also doesn’t require licensing to sell hemp-derived THC products, which paved a very accessible path for the beverage market.  

A Group of Hemp Businesses Sue Arkansas Over Delta THC Product Ban

Several hemp companies are suing the state of Arkansas over a ban that prohibits the sale of any “intoxicating” hemp-derived THC products, such as delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, and delta-10 THC. Act 629 was signed into law earlier in 2023 by Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders in response to the concern that minors would be able to easily access hemp-derived cannabinoid products because of the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized hemp and paved the way for access to many hemp-derived products. On Monday, four hemp businesses from three states sued Gov. Sanders and state officials. The lawsuit alleges that Act 629 violates the 2018 Farm Bill and the U.S. Constitution’s commerce and supremacy clauses.