A recent study reported that Illinois generated $175 million in marijuana sales taxes in 2020, the fifth most in the nation.
Currently, 16 states and Washington, D.C., have now fully legalized marijuana, and 11 have retail sales taxes, according to the study released by U.S. Drug Test Centers. Also, adult and youth usage of marijuana also increased in 2020.
Illinois originally awarded 75 licenses for marijuana dispensaries in 2020, and there is a proposed bill that would more than double the number of licenses and give the poor and minorities a chance to enter the industry after being excluded in the first round, according to published reports.
State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, joined a group of minority cannabis applicants in March and announced plans for legislation that would create up to 115 new marijuana shop permits, according to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times.
In the story, advocates of the proposed legislation said there is “not a single licensed marijuana business that counts a person of color as a majority owner.”
The U.S. Drug Test Centers study <https://www.usdrugtestcenters.com/research-articles/20/the-economics-of-marijuana.html also found that marijuana usage increased by double digits in every state since 2015 led by Nevada at 119 percent. Adults who view marijuana as dangerous is down to 25 percent.
There was no direct correlation between legalization and youth usage of pot, according to the study. In the 15 legal states and D.C., eight saw an increase and eight saw a decrease in youth usage.
The study also found: In Illinois, adults who used marijuana “in the last month” increased by 39 percent since 2015 and youth ages 12-17 increased by 4 percent. The $175 million in taxes accounts for .4 percent in total state 2020 revenue.
In December 2019, the Kankakee City Council approved an ordinance to allow regulating adult-use cannabis business organizations. The city will have only one licensed retailer.
The council approved the ordinance by a 10-4 vote, but one of those voting against was alderman Chris Curtis, who will become the city’s new mayor in May.
In Bradley, the village board in November 2019 amended a zoning ordinance to permit and regulate adult-use cannabis businesses.
The ordinance amendment permits the siting and operation of six distinct categories of cannabis-use establishments — dispensary, cultivation center, craft grower, processor, infuser and transporter. Each of the categories are clearly defined, and the village has authority to permit or prohibit any one of the categories.
Also, in 2019 the Kankakee County Board voted against allowing marijuana sales in unincorporated areas of the county. However, the board’s executive committee will revisit the issue at its next meeting this month.
In March 2020, Grant Park voters approved a non-binding referendum that allows cannabis’ dispensary businesses to sell adult-use recreational cannabis at retail within the village.