State takes in $40 million in taxes from four months of pot sales

  • Taxes from adult-use marijuana sales topped $40 million during the first four months of legalization, easily outpacing the state's budget expectations.

    Taxes from adult-use marijuana sales topped $40 million during the first four months of legalization, easily outpacing the state's budget expectations. Associated Press/December 2013

 
 
Updated 6/4/2020 5:53 PM

Illinois has received more than $40 million in tax revenue from adult-use marijuana sales during the past four months.

In April, the state received $9.7 million in combined marijuana taxes and associated sales taxes, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue figures released Thursday. Marijuana tax revenue provided nearly $6.5 million, and there was more than $3.2 million in associated sales taxes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

However, that amount was down from March when the state received almost $11.8 million in tax money from legalized marijuana sales, the largest haul of the first four months of sales in Illinois, IDOR reported. In January, the state received $10.3 million in marijuana-related taxes and another $8.3 million in February.

Marijuana dispensaries were allowed to stay open as essential businesses since the COVID-19 state of emergency was declared that shuttered many other businesses throughout the state.

The state had anticipated $28 million in tax revenue from legalized marijuana in this year's budget, so the extra could help alleviate some of the shortfalls expected from other state revenue sources due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Taxes are generated from sales at the more than 50 dispensaries throughout the state currently operating, and from cultivators.

The state taxes marijuana based on its potency, ranging from 10% to 25%. Money generated from the state's marijuana tax will go into multiple coffers.

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The state's general fund gets 35%, a community development revitalization program for areas affected by the criminalization of marijuana gets 25%, while 20% goes to substance abuse and mental health programs and 10% goes toward the state's bill backlog.

Local government law enforcement agencies receive 8%, and 2% goes to public education and analysis of marijuana legalization.

The additional sales tax revenue goes into the state's general revenue fund.

In July, towns and counties that allowed legalized marijuana sales will start generating tax revenue as well.

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