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Sales Soar at Illinois Dispensaries During Coronavirus

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In April, Illinois dispensaries sold $37 million in recreational marijuana. That’s the second best month the state has had since recreational sales began. Recreational marijuana users seem to be taking advantage of the low city sales tax of 2.25% before it increases to 5.25% on July 1.

Bair estimates that Collinsville could rake in between $1.5 and $2 million this year in marijuana tax revenue, St. Louis Public Radio reported. Part of that revenue will help the city create a parks department. It’ll also help the city complete the takeover of Gateway Convention Center.

Collinsville City Manage Mitch Bair said, “It’s a backstop. This is a revenue source that has not been impacted, and it’s actually gone up.”

Funding will also be provided for operating the police and fire departments.

Bair said, “Being able to plug that gap is probably going to be the critical difference in, ‘Does that get us through, or do we have to furlough employees and not cut the grass at the parks? In times like this, it’s a really good safety net.”

Marijuana industry experts believe that marijuana sales will help stabilize the Illinois economy that took a hit, like many other states, because of the pandemic.

Bethany Gomez of Brightfield Group said, “As the state starts to get COVID under control more, there will be a very distinct look at budgeting and a need for additional revenue sources. People don’t want to go back to a black-market environment, and they certainly don’t want to sacrifice their tax revenue.”

The flourishing marijuana industry leaves many having high hopes that the tax revenue it’s bringing in will help keep some struggling cities afloat.