Let’s do our best to refrain from making jokes and puns about Danville and Vermilion County being high on life over the presence of the Sunnyside cannabis dispensary on the city’s east side.
But after one full year of legalized marijuana in Illinois and the opening of the pot shop on Lynch Road, it’s clear that the community is poised to benefit greatly from the revenue produced there and shared with local government entities.
Cannabis products such as those sold at Sunnyside proved to be popular in its first year. It’s possible the stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic made those products even more attractive. But whatever it was, the dispensary has had a good year, and officials there say they continue to see up to 6,000 customers a week at the store, a rate in keeping with most other cannabis stores around the state.
As Commercial-News reporter Jennifer Bailey reported in a story last week, Sunnyside officials are seeing sales hit their goals and they see nothing but sunny skies ahead.
That’s good news for the community. The store’s workforce is 40 employees, which boosts the local economy. And revenues from the city’s 3% tax on cannabis purchases are flowing into Danville coffers and will be used for important purposes such as capital improvements as well as in the general fund. City officials say cannabis tax revenue totaled more than $400,000 in 2020, and that was only for a partial year of operation.
As more people get out and about now that the pandemic is receding and the state is on the verge of reopening completely, it seems likely that cannabis sales at Sunnyside, as well as other dispensaries around the state, will flourish.
Legalized marijuana may never meet everyone’s approval, just like alcohol or tobacco. But like those products, tax revenues will undoubtedly pay dividends for years to come.