- The Washington Times - Friday, January 17, 2020

Some recreational marijuana sold by licensed retailers in Chicago will be taxed at upwards of 40% following a ruling Thursday from the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Commissioners voted 13-0 to enact a 3% percent “Cannabis Retailers’ Occupation Tax” on the gross receipts of recreational marijuana sold within Cook County effective July 1.

Although technically imposed on all persons engaged in the business of selling recreational marijuana, The Chicago Sun-Times reported that commissioners expect the new tax to be passed by sellers on to their customers.

Recreational marijuana products sold in Chicago are already subject to the city’s combined sales tax rate of 10.25%, and the Chicago City Council has approved an additional 3% city tax also slated to take effect in July.

Illinois separately taxes recreational marijuana on a three-tier system depending on product and potency. Cannabis-infused products including edibles are taxed by the state at 20%, while other goods are taxed at either 10% or 25% depending on their concentration of THC, the plant’s main psychoactive ingredient.

Taken all together, starting this summer the most potent recreational marijuana products available for sale in the Windy City will be subjected to several taxes totaling 41.5%.

“The potential financial impact to Cook County from the legalization of cannabis could be significant,” a spokesman for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement, NBC Chicago reported.

Illinois this month became the 11th state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana among adults and the ninth in the nation to launch a system for retail sales.

State officials announced shortly afterward that licensed marijuana dispensaries completed more than 271,000 transactions totaling over $10.8 million in sales during the first five days of catering to recreational customers.

Cannabis industry experts at the Brightfield Group previously estimated customers will spend $420 million at Illinois marijuana dispensaries in 2020.

The state has estimated it will reap roughly $57 million in related tax revenue during that first year of recreational marijuana sales, meanwhile, NBC Chicago reported.

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