OAK PARK, Illinois — The Wisconsin State Journal editorial board got it exactly right in calling for cannabis legalization in Wisconsin with its Nov. 29 editorial, “Stop sending pot revenue out of state.“
As an Illinois-based cannabis industry lobbyist, consultant and consumer, I can confirm that while adults have been legally buying cannabis here for almost a year, the sky still hasn’t fallen. In fact, in the recent election, many communities voted to allow cannabis business. By year end, cannabis sales in Illinois will exceed $1 billion. The resulting state and local tax revenue flowing in during the pandemic has been one of the very few sources of relief for beleaguered taxpayers who will ultimately be on the hook for budgetary shortfalls.
With Wisconsin consumers (and their money) streaming south across the border daily, millions of your dollars end up in Illinois. So as someone working in the cannabis industry here, I shouldn’t be encouraging competition from Wisconsin. After all, the more you delay, the more money we make. But with one of my best friends suffering terribly in Wisconsin, I am compelled to tell his story.
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