Adults in Illinois will be able to legally buy and use marijuana for non-medical purposes beginning January 1, 2020. At that same time, communities will be allowed to charge a local option sales tax of up to 3% on marijuana products.
Macomb aldermen will be asked early next month to cash in on that opportunity and approve a tax for the full amount. Mayor Mike Inman said the money would go into the city’s general fund, which could take a hit if the city’s population figure drops as expected after next year’s census.
“We’re going to need some help in stabilizing that fund and I think the council would agree that this would be a good way of stabilizing some of our income,” said Inman.
He said it is not known how much revenue the tax might generate. He also said the tax would not apply to products containing CBD oil.
“CBD does not contain THC so therefore it is only taxed at the regular sales tax,” Inman said.
The mayor said the city soon will also establish zoning guidelines and other rules for businesses selling marijuana products. He said more than one such business has already inquired about setting up shop in Macomb.
“These are folks that I think are proactive and very passionate about the business and realize there is potential for some profit here,” Inman said. “I think I’m getting some guidance from the council that this is something we should be engaging in from an economic development standpoint.”
Inman told aldermen that on Monday (August 19) he toured Nature's Grace and Wellness along with City Administrator Scott Coker and several others. Nature’s Grace and Wellness is a marijuana cultivation facility that opened a few years ago near Vermont in Fulton County as part of the state’s medical marijuana program.
“They were projecting a majority of their product would be used for the type of cannabis that would be inhaled. And they’re finding just the opposite -- it’s in other forms of ingestible cannabis so they’re ramping up their production for that,” Inman said.