Wauconda approves 3% tax on recreational pot sales, if they're ever allowed there

  • Although no dispensaries operate in town, Wauconda officials have approved a 3% sales tax on recreational marijuana.

    Although no dispensaries operate in town, Wauconda officials have approved a 3% sales tax on recreational marijuana. Associated Press file photo

Updated 10/1/2019 8:29 PM

Wauconda trustees on Tuesday approved a 3% tax on recreational marijuana sales -- if pot shops ever open in town.

Village board members still haven't decided if they'll allow cannabis dispensaries, growing centers and related businesses to operate in Wauconda. Although a majority of trustees have said they favor permitting such businesses, a formal vote is pending.


"We have been doing our homework on this," Trustee Tim Howe said.

Officials have been debating the matter during committee meetings, and more meetings will be held before settling the matter. Mayor Lincoln Knight suggested interested residents keep an eye on social media and traditional media for information about upcoming marijuana-related discussions.

Under a relatively new state law legalizing the possession and licensed sale of small amounts of pot starting Jan. 1, 2020, municipalities can tax purchases up to 3%.

Medical marijuana sales are subject to a 1% tax in Illinois.

Wauconda trustees approved the tax with a 4-0 vote. Trustees Chuck Black and Rich Morino were absent.

Approving the tax doesn't commit Wauconda trustees to allowing dispensaries and related businesses in town. If the board rejects such operations, the tax rate would remain on the books but essentially would be irrelevant.

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People on both sides of the marijuana debate have packed public meetings in Mundelein, Libertyville and other suburbs, but there has been no significant public support or opposition in Wauconda.

Committee meetings on the subject have been sparsely attended, and there wasn't much of a crowd at Tuesday's board meeting.

Two residents spoke to the board about the issue Tuesday. One asked about potential regulations on the businesses, while the other talked about the dangers of marijuana use and asked the board to outlaw such businesses.

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