Illinois rakes in $369.7 million in cannabis taxes

The new tax totals far eclipsed the $52.7 million the state collected for the previous year.

Published: July 6, 2021 1:30pm

Updated: July 6, 2021 2:00pm

(The Center Square) -

The state of Illinois finished the previous fiscal year with more than $317 million in cannabis taxes. That far eclipsed the $52.7 million the state collected for the previous year with just six months worth of sales.

Illinois legalized adult-use cannabis with the first legal sales beginning in January 2020. The state has reported continued growth in total sales month after month since then, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the governor’s orders closing most in-person business for more than two months in the spring of 2020.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation reports total sales for May 2021 were nearly $116.4 million. That’s nearly $1.5 million more than was sold in April.

Total reported sales since January 2020 are more than $1.17 billion.

Taxes on the sale can be more than 40%, depending on the potency of the drug.

The total tax revenue the Illinois Comptroller’s office reports for fiscal year 2021 was $317 million for the full twelve-month cycle that ended June 30. Last year, with only six months of legal sales, the state saw around $52.7 million in taxes. That makes the total amount of taxes reported so far more than $369.7 million.

State law splits that tax revenue in several ways. More than a third of the revenue goes to the state’s general revenue fund. Ten percent goes to the state’s backlog of unpaid bills. Eight percent goes to law enforcement and two percent goes to cannabis public safety campaigns. A quarter of every cannabis tax dollar collected goes to the R3 program by law.

Local governments can also tack on up to 3% additional sales tax. In Springfield, city officials have set up programs for additional community support through grants to non-profit groups and money to match home and business improvements in certain areas of the city.

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