New Research Indicates Illinois Collected $36 Million in Marijuana Revenues Form Wisconsinites!
A new estimate from the state says that Wisconsin residents who bought marijuana in the Earth of Lincoln, where it is legal, paid $36 million in taxes. Wisconsin is one of only a few states where marijuana use has not been made legal in some way. Thirty-seven states, like Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota, have programs for medical marijuana.
Three times, the state’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, has tried to get marijuana legalized, but the Republican lawmakers who run the state legislature have turned down his ideas. Just at the start of the new legislative session in January, it seemed like GOP state legislators were changing their minds and getting closer to making a medical marijuana program a reality in Wisconsin after years of being against the idea.
However, the effort quickly stopped moving forward. Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard, D-Madison, has also tried for years to get marijuana legalized but has been unsuccessful. This week, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released estimates of how much money marijuana customers in Illinois counties bordering Wisconsin would pay in taxes.
They are estimated to be $36.1 million. The memo says that the analysis is based on the idea that all sales to individuals living in other states in counties that border Wisconsin were made to people from Wisconsin. “Every person in Wisconsin should be upset that our hard-earned tax money is going to Illinois.
This is money that could be used to improve public schools, transportation, and public safety in Wisconsin “In a statement, she said. “Instead, Illinois is getting ahead because Republicans are being difficult and are against legalizing marijuana.”
Using information gathered from the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation, the Illinois Fiscal Bureau estimated that about 8% of the $462 thousand in tax revenue from sales of marijuana products in Illinois in 2022 came from sales to people from other states in counties close to Wisconsin.
Analysts at the LFB said that the estimated amount of taxes paid by Wisconsin residents could be lower or higher than what they actually paid. This is because it’s possible that not all sale prices to out-of-state residents in counties that border Wisconsin were made to Wisconsin residents.
“Two of the dispensaries in this estimate, for example, are in Jo Daviess County, which is on the border of Iowa and Wisconsin. Some of the sales at those shops were probably to people in Iowa, “the researchers wrote. In January, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said that leaders in the legislature were just starting to talk about what kind of medical marijuana plan they could support.
He also said that Evers’ plan to put forward a state budget that legalizes recreational marijuana use could make Republicans less likely to back the plan. He said that the Assembly and the Senate were not close to agreeing on anything.
Soon before that, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his caucus, which has long been a problem for marijuana legalization in Wisconsin, was “pretty close” to supporting a medical marijuana initiative. Vos has said, like LeMahieu, that he would only back a medical marijuana initiative that treats long-term pain.
“I want to make absolutely sure that, at least from my point of view, it’s very clear that this is not a way to get to recreational marijuana, and it’s not about making a new industry that brings in a lot of money for the state,” he said. “It’s about making sure that people with long-term illnesses get the relief that improves their quality of life.”
“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it helps people with chronic diseases and doesn’t pave the way for people to use marijuana for recreational purposes in the future. I think, and I know, that our caucus would not agree with that. It wouldn’t be good for the state, “Vos said.
Evers said during his campaign to be re-elected that he would again propose marijuana legalization in the next budget. This plan would require buyers to be at least 21 years old and would bring in an estimated $166 million, which Evers wants to use to help pay for schools.
A poll done in October by the Marquette University Law School found that 64 percent of people in Wisconsin want marijuana to be legal for any use. Polls done in 2019 showed that more than 80% of people in Wisconsin liked the idea of a medical marijuana program.
In 2018, advisory opinion questions on the ballots in 16 counties and two cities showed support for making medical or recreational marijuana legal. The referendums asked people what they thought about making personal use legal for adults over 21.