June was the best month yet for Illinois marijuana dispensaries

  • Rise dispensary in Mundelein once only catered to medical marijuana clients, but expanded its business to recreational customers when marijuana was legalized in Illinois at the start of the year.

      Rise dispensary in Mundelein once only catered to medical marijuana clients, but expanded its business to recreational customers when marijuana was legalized in Illinois at the start of the year. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, Dec. 27, 2019

 
 
Updated 7/7/2020 3:33 PM

Illinois marijuana dispensaries sold more than $47.6 million worth of products in June, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

During that time, 994,545 items were sold, averaging almost $48 per purchase, not including taxes. Tax figures will be released later this month by the Illinois Department of Revenue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The state most recently received $12.5 million in marijuana taxes and associated sales taxes in May, according to IDOR. That brings the state's tax collections from marijuana legalization to $52.7 million for the five months of operation. That's well above the $28 million estimated in this year's budget, which ended June 30.

Towns and counties that allow marijuana sales began adding their own taxes at the beginning of this month for the first time, which will generally increase the purchase price between 3% and 3.75%.

Since legalization began at the start of January, dispensaries have sold $239.1 million in marijuana products. On the first day of sales, lines wrapped around blocks as buyers clamored to make purchases.

June sales set a record for the nearly 60 dispensaries in Illinois. Illinois residents spent $35.2 million on adult-use recreational marijuana, while $12.4 million came from out-of-state buyers.

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Those sales figures will likely lead to another record in tax revenue for the state, as well.

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.

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.

Legalization of adult-use marijuana has been a boon for the state, which has otherwise seen its revenues dwindle during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compared to the 2019 fiscal year, sales taxes are off by more than $181 million, hotel taxes are down $64 million this fiscal year and automobile taxes are off by nearly $7 million, according to IDOR.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Public utility taxes are also off by nearly $64 million this year.

Personal and business income taxes are off by a combined $1.4 billion, but much of that is because the filing period was extended into this month.

While motor fuel taxes are up nearly $1 billion over last year, that's largely due to a doubling of the tax rate. The state saw sharp declines in motor fuel taxes starting in March. In the months prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the state was averaging $215 million a month in motor fuel taxes in the four months since then it averaged less than $172 million a month.

Liquor taxes are also up $5.5 million from last year.

All told, the state revenues are currently $660 million short of last fiscal year's totals and that's with a number of tax and fee hikes implemented in the last year.

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