First-time recreational cannabis buyers often feel the sticker shock.
With hefty taxes, an eighth of an ounce of fresh cannabis flower typically costs around $80 — far more than the price of black market weed.
But sales have continued to boom despite the sky-high taxes and prices, totaling over $1.9 billion since the drug was fully legalized last January. As a result, total tax collections on pot sales have now jumped to nearly $563 million. And since February, pot sales have brought in a whooping $100 million more in taxes than booze.
Nearly a quarter-billion dollars has been raised on pot sales through November mainly via the state’s 6.25% sales tax and other local taxes, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office. Pritzker spokeswoman Charity Greene couldn’t provide a breakdown of those revenues.
However, the bulk of the state’s weed windfall, $319 million, comes from an additional excise tax of up to 25% per purchase, depending on the product. That funding, along with nearly $30 million in fees paid by marijuana businesses, makes up the state’s Cannabis Regulation Fund, which is also the main source of money being used to help achieve some of the legalization law’s social equity goals.
So where has that money gone? [Read more at Chicago Sun-Times]