When recreational marijuana sales became legal in Illinois last January, there were many thoughts and projections centered around the amount of money the new pot laws would bring into Illinois' coffers. In particular, many of us wondered about tax money generated by weed sales.

Greg Bishop, reporting for TheCenterSquare.com, says that Illinois' marijuana taxes, the total collected from January 2020 through last month, totaled more than $205.4 million dollars.

That kind of money is nothing to sniff at, especially in a cash-strapped state like Illinois. However, it would be nice to see the return on investment that Colorado has been enjoying since they went the legalization route back in 2014.


Colorado’s total marijuana sales surpassed $2 billion in 2020, the highest amount since legalization, the state’s Department of Revenue (CDOR) said Tuesday. Since the state began collecting tax revenue on marijuana sales in February 2014, Colorado has brought in almost $1.6 billion in taxes on nearly $9.8 billion in total sales.

Illinois' numbers aren't even close to being in that stratosphere, but we've only been at this for a bit more than one year, so we've got room to grow. But, like I pointed out earlier in this piece, $205.4 million dollars in taxes is more than we would have had without legalization.

Illinois' overall sales, from January of 2020 through January of this year, have been growing each month. Some months have seen bigger growth than others, but the state has made a pretty good pile of cash from the inaugural year of recreational sales.


Since adult-use sales began in January 2020, nearly $757.9 million in cannabis has been sold. The taxes on that can be more than 40%, depending on the potency and whether a local sales tax is added on to the state taxes.



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