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Cheesehead cannabis spending injects $36 million into Illinois tax coffers

Friday, Mar 17, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* WISN

Wisconsin residents are choosing to spend their hard-earned cash in Illinois, specifically on weed.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation estimates the state made $36.1 million in tax revenue last year from Wisconsinites traveling across state lines to buy marijuana. […]

“If we’re going to do medical marijuana, it has nothing to do with generating taxes for the state and it has nothing to do with creating a new industry,” [Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin] Vos said. “We do not need to become like Illinois or Michigan where anywhere you go, there’s the stench of marijuana.”

A recent Marquette Law Poll reports 61% of Wisconsin voters support cannabis legalization in Wisconsin.

* Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has proposed legalizing marijuana three times but Republican lawmakers who control the state Legislature have rejected the idea. It appeared at the start of the new legislative session that began in January that GOP legislative leaders were changing course and moving closer to creating a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin after years of opposition to the idea but the effort quickly stalled.

Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard, D-Madison, has also unsuccessfully proposed marijuana legalization for years and this week released revenue estimates from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which show $36.1 million are estimated to be paid in Illinois taxes by marijuana customers in counties bordering the Badger State.

The analysis assumes that all sales to out-of-state residents in counties bordering Wisconsin were made to Wisconsin residents, according to the memo.

“It should upset every Wisconsinite that our hard earned tax dollars are going across the border to Illinois. This is revenue that could be going toward Wisconsin’s public schools, transportation infrastructure, and public safety,” she said in a statement. “Instead, Illinois is reaping the benefits of Republican obstructionism and their prohibitionist stance on marijuana legalization.”

* Patch

There are four counties in Illinois that immediately border Wisconsin with dispensaries, the memo said, including Jo Daviess, Lake, McHenry and Winnebago. Of the sales made in those counties, just over $121 million, or 50.6 percent, were to people from out-of-state, the memo said citing data from Illinois. The overall analysis assumed that all out-of-state sales in the bordering counties were made to Wisconsinites, but the memo noted other out-of-state buyers may have come in such as from Iowa.

Altogether about 7.8 percent of Illinois’ cannabis sales revenue came from out-of-state buyers in the counties bordering Wisconsin, the memo said. Much of that is likely attributable to Wisconsinites.

* More…

       

18 Comments »
  1. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 1:42 pm:

    Illinois is reaping the rewards for all the pot sold to Wisconsin residents while Wisconsin reaps the rewards for all of the fireworks, cheese and cheaper gas sold to Illinois residents on the border.


  2. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 1:43 pm:

    Thank you. Come again.


  3. - Jerry - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 1:54 pm:

    That is almost the opposite of the way things were when there was a difference in drinking ages.
    Illinois was 21, Wisconsin was 18 (or was it 19?).

    Till the Feds threatened to withhold road money and then Wisconsin raised the age.


  4. - crazy gonna crazy - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 1:55 pm:

    The stores on the border of WI are raking it in, but those bordering MO are dying because the MO tax is 10 times less.


  5. - Roadrager - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:00 pm:

    ==Illinois was 21, Wisconsin was 18 (or was it 19?).==

    I believe Wisconsin was 18, then ramped up to 19 and then 21.

    To the post, Wisconsin Republicans are well past considering the will of the people with a permanent gerrymandered supermajority despite being barely able to get half of the state’s votes. All they need is a candidate for governor who isn’t wholly repulsive and they won’t even have to worry about token gestures toward democracy.


  6. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:11 pm:

    “Those bordering Mo”

    Bub, you’re clueless. Thrive in Anna has cars parked in the road.


  7. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:14 pm:

    “Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin] Vos said. “We do not need to become like Illinois or Michigan where anywhere you go, there’s the stench of marijuana.”

    …and yet…Vos roomed with Reince Priebus…sniff?


  8. - ??? - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:16 pm:

    “We do not need to become like Illinois or Michigan where anywhere you go, there’s the stench of marijuana.” - Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos

    Well, you need *something* to cover up the smell of cow dung in Wisconsin.


  9. - Stix Hix - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:19 pm:

    –anywhere you go, there’s the stench of marijuana–

    I guess I don’t go much. I’m not smellin’ it.


  10. - Roadrager - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:21 pm:

    ==Wisconsin reaps the rewards for all of the fireworks, cheese and cheaper gas sold to Illinois residents on the border.==

    This is why I am once again calling on Governor Pritzker to legalize cheese in this grate state of ours. It’s gouda for the economy, and will brie another slice of supporting evidence for his claims that he wants to make Illinois a cheddar place for all who live here. It’s well past time to rid ourselves of arcane restrictions that leave us provolone amidst our Midwest neighbors.


  11. - frustrated GOP - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:37 pm:

    I keep saying every exit on this side of the State line for Wisc, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa should have a pot store. you know like the fireworks store on the other side of the State line. We can even make it a drive thru, Maybe we hire someone from Potillos to mange it to move it quicker. One person has them a menu, next person takes the money, they pull up to the window, get their pot, head back over the line.
    or, maybe just a shop that sells everything illegal in their state.


  12. - Blue Dog - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:38 pm:

    Roadrunner. you made an old man laugh. thanks.


  13. - Suburban Mom - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:39 pm:

    The Curaleaf dispensaries brag that “all our products are grown in Illinois by Illinois farmers [banned punctuation]” and I was like, “Oh, that’s really nice, I’m glad that they’re supporting in-state farmers.”

    About 15 minutes later it dawned on me that it HAS to come from in-state because it’s still illegal to sell across state lines. But big props to whoever in their marketing department turned the “this industry is only kinda legal” hurdle into a “buy local” marketing slogan. That was really smart, I am legitimately impressed.


  14. - Proud Sucker - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:44 pm:

    Roadrunner wins the day. May as well shut her down for the weekend Rich.


  15. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:46 pm:

    “Republican lawmakers who control the state Legislature have rejected the idea”

    Don’t often agree with them, but they’re right. Don’t ever legalize it. Let Illinois make all the money.


  16. - Stuck in Celliniland - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 2:50 pm:

    -It’s well past time to rid ourselves of arcane restrictions that leave us provolone amidst our Midwest neighbors.=

    Wisconsin has all the cool cheese while all we got are those lousy Kraft singles.


  17. - Northsider - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:21 pm:

    Roadrager, I (port) salut you.


  18. - JDuc - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 4:14 pm:

    Love Wisco


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