QUINCY -- While the sale of adult-use recreational marijuana at a state-licensed dispensary may occur Jan. 1, 2020, the city will not be able to collect any revenue from its 3% sales tax on adult-use cannabis or cannabis-related products until September 2020.
This is because of what some are calling "a potential drafting error" in the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, the law that legalized recreational marijuana in the state.
Per an informational bulletin from the Illinois Department of Revenue, any city or county must file with the department a copy of the ordinance authorizing the tax on or before June 1, 2020. The Department of Revenue will administer and enforce the tax beginning Sept. 1, 2020.
Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore told The Herald-Whig on Monday evening that he anticipated that, if there were a drafting error, the state would clean up the language during the veto session this fall.
"I am confident it will be addressed," Moore said.
A Department of Revenue official said that, while the city's 3% sales tax on adult-use cannabis or cannabis-related products may not be collected for the first nine months of 2020, other taxes will still be applied to all sales beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
This includes the city's 8% general merchandise sales tax, and any sales taxes previously implemented by the county or by the state. These taxes will continue to be collected even after the implementation of the cannabis tax.
City Comptroller Sheri Ray said it remains unclear how much revenue the marijuana sales tax will generate for the city.
"There really is no good science as to how to predict or project how much revenue we will get from this tax," Ray said. "It could be like it was with video gaming, which grew so quickly. Who knew that we would end up making nearly half-a-million from video gaming?"
Ray said the best preliminary estimates for Quincy to potentially make on its 3% marijuana-related sales tax was $60,000 annually.
Ray said this figure is based on a number of comparative studies completed by other cities.