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Looking on the bright side

Thursday, Sep 12, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Center Square

“If we say we’re not selling it, they’re going to go to East Peoria, Bartonville, West Peoria, Dunlap, everybody that surrounds us and buy it there and then bring it back to Peoria so it’s the perfect ‘cut off your nose to spite your face’ scenario,” Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said. “We are all cash-starved.”

Ardis said the state already decided the city can’t ban the use of cannabis products after Jan. 1. Now, elected city officials are trying to figure out whether the cash-strapped city should allow the sale and collect tax revenue on it.

“They took the ball out of our hands,” he said.

* The Southern

Williamson County Board passed a resolution supporting Harbory’s application for a license to dispense recreational cannabis. The board also passed an ordinance levying a 3.75% retailer’s occupation tax on the sale of recreational cannabis. […]

Harbory will have to hire between 20 and 25 employees to serve recreational users. They will dispense safety-tested products. Sales could bring in as much as 30% of the county budget.

According to Ellis, Harbory would have between $15 million and $20 million in sales. At 3%, that would be $450,000 to $600,000 in tax revenue.

* Phil Luciano

Studies say cannabis users typically spend about $600 a year on pot products. If that sum were taxed at 3 percent, that’d be an extra $18 a year. Call that an $18-a-year insurance policy to avoid getting arrested from an illegal buy. In itself, that’s a pretty good deal.

Not only that, but illegal weed dealers won’t have the large number of product choices as legal cannabis stores.

* And come January 1, arrests of black people like this man for an ounce or less will no longer be legal

At a time when the state of Illinois is on the verge of allowing for the sale of marijuana for recreational use, the Will County Sheriff’s Office continues to devote its resources to making arrests related to marijuana around the Joliet area.

Last week, Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Ross Ricobene filed a criminal complaint at the Will County Courthouse charging 43-year-old Joliet resident Johnny K. Gooch with one count of unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of cannabis and a third criminal offense of driving while driver’s license is revoked.

The criminal complaint indicates that Gooch, who lives on Joliet’s east side in the 1000 block of Draper Avenue, “knowingly and unlawfully possessed more than 10 grams but not more than 30 grams of any substance containing cannabis.

* Meanwhile

As more states legalize pot, a local startup has raised nearly $86 million to be the landlord to companies that grow and sell weed.

A group that includes Chicago entrepreneurs Al Goldstein and Pete Kadens has launched NewLake Capital Partners, which will own industrial and retail properties where cannabis companies cultivate and sell their product. NewLake just finished raising $85.5 million and already has some acquisitions in the works, said CEO Anthony Coniglio.

Many marijuana companies are expanding rapidly and want to maximize their growth by investing in operations, not real estate. So they are turning to specialized landlords like Innovative Industrial Properties, a publicly traded San Diego-based real estate investment trust, which own growing facilities and lease them back to the businesses. […]

Through Aug. 7, the company owned 2 million square feet of space in 12 states, including a 75,000-square foot growing facility in downstate Barry, about 80 miles west of Springfield. The REIT has a market capitalization of about $1 billion, and its shares, while well off their July high, have returned 102 percent this year, versus a 25 percent return for the Bloomberg REIT Index.

* And

January 1, 2020, will be a green-letter day in Illinois when residents and visitors can purchase recreational marijuana legally for the first time. Weed-themed sandwich chain Cheba Hut plans to be there with plenty of pot puns, a full bar, and a wide-ranging selection of “toasted” subs. The Arizona-based company has signed two three-unit franchise deals in Chicago, and the first is slated to open by the end of 2019.

The herb itself won’t be available in the restaurants, but leadership hopes to help elevate customers’ pot experiences.

Hopefully soon, some cities will allow restaurants to serve infused dishes.


  1. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    For a guy who ordered a SWAT team attack on a spoof twitter account, Ardis actually seems to be making some sense.

  2. - Anon E Moose - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    $600/year? That seems quite low.

  3. - d. p. gumby - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    Makes my mouth water just reading about it!!

  4. - Montrose - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    Note to self: New catering spot to use to help deal with tension filled meetings.

  5. - benniefly2 - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    Illegal weed dealers may have a wide assortment of product choices, but it won’t necessarily be weed. They would probably be more of the narcotic variety.

    Marijuana isn’t a gateway drug, per se. Illegal dealers of marijuana are the gateway to access.

  6. - West Side the Best Side - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    The first paragraph of the story of the arrest of Mr. Gooch is rather misleading in that if he was also charged with driving on a revoked license the driving stop is what lead to the discovery of the weed. It makes it sound like Will County is looking for weed rather than enforcing traffic laws. For the sake of all our safety on the roads hopefully driving on a revoked license will still be illegal after January 1st.

  7. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    The smartest thing the Mayor of Marion did this week was distract people from his idea of getting rid of property tax by increasing sales & use tax which would be horrifically regressive and more than likely spell disaster when the next time there’s a recession.

  8. - Baloneymous - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 1:02 pm:

    Marijuana is a gateway drug, per se

    Really? You’re still gonna push that nonsense?

  9. - Baloneymous - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    Sorry missed the isn’t. My bad

  10. - Maryjane - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    - Baloneymous:

    I’ve discovered that Cannabis is indeed a gateway drug. One that encourages me, after use, to run the vacuum, clean the bathroom and then enjoy a brisk walk. ;-)

  11. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    Many people have found cannabis to be an exit strategy from opioids and a host of other prescribed drugs…drugs with negative side effects detrimental to one’s overall health.

  12. - Steve Polite - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    It looks like Springfield may opt in.

    Maribis has a medical dispensary in Grandview (small township on the northeast side of Springfield). I called them yesterday. They have applied for a recreational license. I haven’t heard anything about whether Grandview has or will opt in. Anybody know more?

  13. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===Grandview has or will opt in===

    There is no actual opt-in. It’s opt-out only. The only opt-in part is a vote on taxation, which has to be done soon.

  14. - Steve Polite - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    Thanks Rich. I knew that. I phrased my question poorly. My bad. Does anybody know if Grandview has or will opt-out? What happens if Grandview does nothing? Will Maribis then be able to sell recreational cannabis as long as they have the license?

  15. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Sep 12, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    I’d love to see the law changed to a hard “opt in” deadline after which munis are shut out.
    These same officials wringing their hands over refer madness will come crying back to the GA after their neighbors who opted in start reporting revenue.
    Not that this has ever happened before.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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