Pot Taxes Bring But $150 Million of $40 Billion Budget

From The Center Square:

Despite pandemic, Illinois’ legal weed sales skyrocket, but tax revenue not panacea

(The Center Square) – Within three months time in 2020, cannabis in Illinois went from being illegal to essential, and it is big money.

Illinois started the new year with the first legal adult-use cannabis sales. On Jan. 1 in Springfield, David Watson, standing next to a cop car, was among the first to buy the legal product.

“It’s different, I mean I’m a little nervous, but hey it’s legal now and I’m fresh out of the store so I’m hoping I’m OK,” Watson said.

Then, COVID-19 hit. Gov. J.B. Pritzker deemed certain retail outlets nonessential and shut them down, while pot stores were deemed essential. The Governor’s Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer Toi Hutchinson in September noted sales continued to increase month after month.

“The sales of this have been through the roof, through the middle of a global pandemic,” Hutchinson said. “[Revenue] is targeted to those very communities that are disproportionately impacted.”

Taxes on the drug can be more than 40 percent, with a portion going to community programs, the state’s backlog of bills and several other areas.

State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, noted earlier in the year the importance of tracking how that money flows.

“We can’t have insider deals, we can’t have this money going to waste,” Butler said. “This is important tax revenue, and it’s a lot of tax revenue coming through the door. That was one reason this was sold to the people of Illinois that this is tax revenue to help us pay our bills.”

Through November, the state reports $582 million in sales generating more than $150 million in tax revenue.

Nick Niforatos, executive vice president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said that may sound like a lot of revenue, but it’s a “drop in the bucket” of a more-than $40 billion budget.

“The money does go kind of all over the place and so you’re taking a very small number and really making it even smaller by putting it into some of these different programs,” Niforatos said.


Pot Taxes Bring But $150 Million of $40 Billion Budget — 24 Comments

  1. What isn’t figured in this equation is the amount of tax dollars SAVED by not having to arrest and jail thousands of herbalists.

    Now the police can spend time arresting violent criminals and drunk drivers.

  2. Gary has a great point and that number is probably larger than the tax income.

  3. Plus the jobs and the taxes paid by those employed in this growing market.

    Methinks Cal oughta give some Indica a try!

    Sure doesn’t need Sativa.

  4. Hey Gary, put down the crack pipe.

    Missing from the equation are all the Road deaths caused by strung out drivers, lives wrecked by getting hooked on gateway drugs, lost productivity, etc.

  5. If this fat gov release the other permits to sell pot look at how much more money the state would have to pay on its debt!!

  6. The gateway theory has been used and abused for so long that rational people understand that it is propaganda by the prohibitionists.

    Ask most hard core addicts what drug they first consumed and it was alcohol or nicotine.

    Should we make coffee illegal because it has some negative health consequences? Tobacco and sugar too?

    I claim cannabis is a gateway from hard drugs and alcohol, and that is why the alcohol and pharmaceutical industry lobby (bribe) politicians to keep it illegal.

    In one of the greatest hypocrisies of our times, The Partnership for a Drug Free America organization was mostly funded by big pharma and booze companies.

    Alcohol tobacco and pharmaceutical drugs kill millions annually, but there is no lethal dose of cannabis, and it does not cause cancer.

    Actually it is a medicine that is used to help cancer patients.

    We don’t make cell phones illegal because some irresponsible people text and drive and cause deadly accidents.

  7. Pot is only really a gateway drug when you have to go to the same guy who sells crack to buy it, but crack is much more profitable for him so he gives you a little sample.

    Seriously, how hard is it to see that you can’t stop it, so we are better off having it regulated at least.

    Last time I checked the guy on the street was asking for ID.

    When I was in high school it was ten times easier to score a bag of weed or anything else than a case of beer.

    We would have to find an adult to help us if we wanted alcohol.

  8. I’ve been very unproductive today, ‘strung out’ because of this phone, better make them illegal.

  9. Mr. Christ, WWJD?

    Give weed to teens to haze them into drooling losers or get people away from doomed paths and unproductive lifestyles?

    Look what happened to Holland!

  10. WWJD? Great question, thank you.

    Matthew Chapter 15 verses 10-11:

    Jesus called the crowd to him and said “Listen and understand. What goes into a person’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean’, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean”.

    Vs16: Are you still so dull? Vs:18: But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean’.

    I interpret this to mean if you consume something that alters your mind to sin, you offend God.

    It is not the consumption, but the actions resulting from consumption that can be sinful.

    Alcohol is a prime example.

    Most people can drink alcohol in moderation and cause no problems for others.

    Then I have seen some of the nicest people consume alcohol and turn into violent monsters.

    The deceased Bradly Downing is who I think of, a homeless person who I did what I could to support with housing and employment.

    Super nice guy when sober, a total jerk when drunk, eventually committed suicide.

    Not to mention some of the hardest working construction guys I have known enjoyed a little herb now and then.

    Why do you think cannabis is so popular with the Mexican laborers?

    No hangover or anger.

  11. I always like to point out that Jesus made a beer run at Cana.


  12. And of course the ‘religious’ people called Jesus a drunkard.

    Always pointing fingers!

  13. Gary Christ, you get the Biggest Boob Prize for 2020, please stay in your rat’s nest.

  14. Overtaxed Senior, are you brave enough to use your real name?

    If not your comments show your cowardice.

  15. Gary, using the Bible to hawk your drugs?

    Really Gary?

    How young do you think kids should be smoking weed or becoming potheads?

    16? 14? 11?

    Are you a Dead Head, too?

  16. Hawking drugs? I really do not know why I comment on this blog when anonymous, brainwashed COWARDS spew pure BS regarding my well researched finding that cannabis is safer than alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceutical drugs and ADULTS should be free to make a legal decision to what they consume. And back it up scripturally.
    If you COWARDS refuse to use a real name and insinuate total lies regarding my statements…your comments have as much impact as drool dripping off a mouse.

  17. Gary Christ, you should be more Christlike….. forgiving, merciful, compassionate, less wrathful. iSync that what druggies are supposed to be?

  18. There’s a reason the Hell’s Angels don’t tolerate potheads.

    They cannot be trusted, and they are inevitable lazy.

    That’s what pot does to your brain.

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