Gov. J.B. Pritzker is touting how much marijuana revenue Illinois received in 2021. But high taxes and regulatory blunders have kept Illinois weed between $200 million and $600 million shy of its potential.
A complex system of high taxes and restrictive licensing undermines the goals of marijuana legalization proponents – leaving $600 million in potential revenue uncollected while helping the illegal drug trade.
High taxes on marijuana are believed to help illegal dealers and violence thrive, so San Francisco is holding off on new city pot taxes to help legal dispensaries compete. Illinois and Chicago, where taxes top 40%, may want to pay attention.
Legal marijuana has seen nine consecutive months tally at least $100 million in Illinois sales. The state is on pace to double the previous year and exceed $1.5 billion in sales. Still, Illinois’ illegal market churns out higher sales and violence.
A Chicago-based marijuana company is facing a federal investigation into whether it bought influence to gain state licenses, sources told the Chicago Tribune. It hired four close associates of former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.
No other state’s constitution or labor laws are like Illinois’ – broadly allowing government unions to override statutes simply by negotiating contrary provisions into collective bargaining agreements. Illinois may not be alone for long.