Study: Illinois’ legal marijuana demand would outpace supply

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CHICAGO (AP) -- A new study that state legislators commissioned has found legal recreational marijuana in Illinois could drive demand to far more than what licensed growers could supply.

The Chicago Tribune reports​ the study says demand could be as high as 550,000 pounds a year. Democratic state Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago and Democratic state Rep. Kelly Cassidy of Chicago commissioned the report from a Colorado consulting firm. They are sponsoring legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

Illinois already allows medical marijuana and has 16 licensed growers who say they can meet increased demand. The Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois has said adding more cultivators could lead to a glut and illegal diversion.

The study found current growers could only meet 35 to 54 percent of demand if recreational marijuana were legalized in Illinois.