Updated at 3:10 p.m., Feb. 12, with comments from Collinsville's mayor
COLLINSVILLE — Illinois Supply and Provisions recorded $5 million in sales of recreational marijuana in the first month of the year, city officials announced Tuesday.
The preliminary figures come after a strong month of sales across the whole state. Illinois sold nearly $40 million of legal marijuana in January alone.
The lone dispensary in the Metro East accounted for 13.6% of all recreational cannabis sales in Illinois. There are 48 approved recreational dispensaries in the state.
"I'm not necessarily in tune with recreational marijuana, but the tax dollars coming into the community make it all worthwhile," said Collinsville Mayor John Miller.
At the local level, Collinsville brought in $125,000 in sales tax from the dispensary in January. The city currently taxes marijuana sales at 2.25%, but that will jump to 5.25% in July.
In 2020, the city expects to bring in between $1.5 million and $2 million in sales from the dispensary, more than initial conservative projections. That money goes to capital projects.
"It's a win-win for the city and a win-win for our citizens," Miller said. "It relaxes that burden of residential taxes and other taxes going to those capital project funds."
Illinois Supply and Provisions saw major lines of people eager to buy legal marijuana throughout January.
Buyers waited in line an average of 90 to 120 minutes most days, said Kathleen Olivastro, Illinois Supply and Provisions regional director. She said that basically 100% of people in those lines ended up buying something at the dispensary.
“How many chances do you get that as a business?” she said.
The dispensary served so many people by rotating cannabis products based on what it had a healthy supply of.
“We identify items at the end or beginning of the day to give choices,” Olivastro said. “Using a menu system was a smart way to control what’s available and serve people every day.”
Where does the sales tax money go?
The tax revenue from the city’s marijuana dispensary splits between operating costs and the city’s capital projects, and feeds into infrastructure, Collinsville Assistant City Manager Derek Jackson said.
Collinsville residents don’t have to wait long to see improvements because the city has a capital plan in place.
“We’re already fueling this project,” he said. “We want sidewalks to be repaired in those less walkable areas, getting the street improvements up to ADA compliance in a lot of areas of town.”
Other immediate improvements include utility extensions or general infrastructure maintenance, Jackson added.
The infusion of revenue also allows the city to tackle larger projects more quickly, like moving the public works facilities to the center of the town, Jackson said.
“That’s a big one out the gate, getting the public works department centralized,” he said. “Right now, we’re on the outskirts of town.”
This move will shorten the trips that plows and other service vehicles have to make throughout the city, Jackson said.
“It’s not just pure streets and roads,” he said. “It’s equipment. Bringing our parks up to speed.”
The city’s aqua park is another major project revenue from the dispensary will fund, Jackson added. He said the facility needs to be modernized and upgraded for efficiency.
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