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Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to balance Illinois' budget by creating or raising a patchwork of taxes and fees. He says they're a bridge to get Illinois through until voters have a chance to consider whether to change the state Constitution to allow a graduated income tax.NPR Illinois reporters have been examing his ideas.

Unpacking Pritzker's Tax Proposals: Legal Cannabis

Pritzker said he’s counting on $170 million dollars from recreational cannabis in next year’s budget.";s:

Governor J.B. Pritzker wants to create a host of new taxes to help balance Illinois’ budget – on everything from e-cigarettes to medical insurance companies. 

NPR Illinois reporters have been breaking down those revenue-generating ideas. Today we're looking at a potential tax on recreational marijuana.

(See previous stories on taxing managed care organizations, gambling, vaping and tobacco, the retailer's discount, and a possible tax on shopping bags.)

Pritzker said he’s counting on $170 million dollars from recreational cannabis in next year’s budget. That amount only accounts for licensing fees from businesses looking to get into the industry. According to Pritzker's budget staff, the fee would be around $100 thousand dollars each.  

Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), who has been working on legalizing the drug for years, said she is not sure how Pritzker came to that figure. She’s not even sure how many licenses will be accepted yet.

“That’s still an ongoing conversation about what’s the best way to ramp it up in a way that allows more competition, but doesn’t put us into a situation of overproduction,” she said. 

While nearly every detail of the legislation is still being negotiated, results from a recent demand study are helping stakeholders iron out some of them. 

“Using population data, trends from other states, we’ve been able to determine approximately how many people will seek access and how much product they’ll want to buy,” she said. 

The clock is ticking for lawmakers to pass a bill before the end of May, but they say they are still hopeful.

Jaclyn has an MA in Journalism from DePaul University and a BS in History form Monmouth College. Prior to reporting, Jaclyn was a social science teacher and department chair at Greenfield High School. Previously, Jaclyn reported for WICS Newschannel 20 where she covered a variety of assignments including courts, politics, and breaking news. She also reported at Siouxland News in Sioux City Iowa, the shared CBS/Fox television newsroom. Her internships included WGN and Comcast SportsNet in Chicago.
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