SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) – Illinois state cannabis sales generated over $7 million in tax revenue during January alone, putting the state well on track to surpass initial estimates of $28 million in tax revenue by the end of the year.
Illinois currently has 55 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state, but a majority are located in the Chicago-area. When cannabis was legalized at the beginning of the year, southeastern Illinois was only given two licenses to open dispensaries within it’s area. With one dispensary already open in Effingham, this leaves one license left available for the 13-county zone including cities such as Mattoon, Paris and Robinson.
Following the first month of legalization, how much of that revenue went back to Effingham County though?
The state collects income generated from cannabis products in two ways; one way is to tax products proportionately based off their level of THC potency. The other way is through a cultivator’s tax where the state receives 7% from every transaction between cultivators and retailers.
After administrative fees, 45% of the tax income went back to communities in the state with the highest arrest rates associated with marijuana. The remaining $3 million from January was divided between the state’s general revenue fund and Effingham County.
“Revenue raised in this first month will soon begin flowing back into those communities to begin repairing the damage done by the failed policies of the past and creating new opportunities for those who have been left behind for far too long,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor to Governor Pritzker for Cannabis Control.
Effingham County board members said they would like to see the revenue produced from cannabis legalization go back toward drug treatment and prevention through the Effingham County Health Department as well as countywide mental health services.
As the industry matures, there’s always a chance that another dispensary will open within the 13-county zone, but experts don’t believe it will be any time soon due to the high start-up costs associated with operating such a facility. For the time being, revenue from sales at the dispensary in Effingham County see no slowing down.