If you recall earlier this year, arguments raged back and forth over whether marijuana dispensaries should be labeled "essential" during the pandemic shutdowns across the country.

As is the case so often, the answer was arrived at by following the money. States realized that they were about to have a huge revenue problem on multiple fronts, so the decision was made here in Illinois (and other states) to keep the dispensaries open.

Based upon the amount of people waiting in line at Sunnyside Dispensary on McFarland Road here in Rockford at any given time, you can see why our state, with money problems galore, made the call to keep dispensaries in Illinois open.

Agree with legalization or not, the money continues to pour into the State of Illinois' coffers.

August of this year saw another jump in weed sales here in Illinois, with $63,963,846.90 in sales. That's two million dollars more than July, which brought in around $61,000,000.

Out-of-state residents made a pretty hefty contribution to Illinois' marijuana industry, too. People from across our borders dropped $17,213,875.86 at Illinois dispensaries. However, the lion's share of purchases came from those of us in-state. Illinoisans dropped $46,749.971.04 on what are called "adult-use marijuana products."

We've got some catching up to do if we're hoping to achieve Colorado-like numbers, though. Here's a look at how sales are going there, according to Colorado.gov:

Marijuana Sales

Calendar YearMarijuana Sales by Calendar YearTotal Marijuana Sales Since Jan 2014
2014$683,523,739$683,523,739
2015$995,591,255$1,679,114,994
2016$1,307,203,473$2,986,318,467
2017$1,507,702,219$4,494,020,686
2018$1,545,691,080$6,039,711,766
2019$1,747,990,628$7,787,702,393
2020 (Jan - Jul)$1,204,724,752$8,992,427,145