Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle
The Cook County Board of Commissioners has imposed a 3-percent tax on recreational marijuana, meaning those who purchase the drug in Chicago will be forced to pay a cumulative 6-percent sales tax along with the state rate of up to 30 percent.
The new tax is effectively set to kick in during the month of July, with county officials expecting to start reaping the benefits sometime before the end of the year.
"I think all the collar counties — DuPage, Will, Lake, Kendall — are charging 3 percent,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told Crain’s Chicago Business. “I think Kane is 2.5 percent. We're in line with the counties around us."
In Cook County, the funds are expected to be earmarked for the county's public safety and health funds.
Over the first 12 days of recreational marijuana use becoming legal across Illinois, state officials say 495,385 transactions were processed for a total of more than $19.7 million dollars in sales.
Of the 11 states where recreational marijuana has been legalized, Illinois already has the second highest taxes in the country. Products with THC levels below 35 percent are taxed at 10 percent; those over 35 percent THC are taxed at 25 percent, and edibles are taxed at 20 percent.
When all the taxes are factored in, including state, county and local, high-THC marijuana in Chicago is taxed at greater than 41 percent.