SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Adult use sales of recreational marijuana soared past $1.5 billion in Illinois in 2022.
The new figure represents a 12% increase over 2021, and adds up to $435 million in tax revenue for the state.
There are currently 113 licensed cannabis dispensaries in Illinois, with an additional 189 in the process of being approved.
However, the number of young kids, especially toddlers, who accidentally ate marijuana-laced treats rose sharply over five years as pot became legal in more places in the U.S., according to a study published Tuesday.
More than 7,000 confirmed cases of kids younger than 6 eating marijuana edibles were reported to the nation’s poison control centers between 2017 and 2021, climbing from about 200 to more than 3,000 per year.
Nearly a quarter of the children wound up hospitalized, some seriously ill, according to a new analysis in the journal Pediatrics.
And those are just the reported cases, said Dr. Marit Tweet, a medical toxicologist with the Southern Illinois School of Medicine, who led the study.
Cases of kids eating pot products such as candies, chocolate and cookies have coincided with more states allowing medical and recreational cannabis use. Currently, 37 U.S. states permit use of marijuana for medical purposes and 21 states regulate adult recreational use.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.