City officials expect sales tax revenue boon
SOUTH BELOIT — Illinois’ largest recreational marijuana dispensary opened Monday about 1,000 feet south of the border with Wisconsin, where marijuana use is prohibited, and 5,000 feet from a proposed casino.
The city’s mayor says the sales tax revenue from the store and the development prospects surrounding it are huge.
“This store is going to lead to further development,” Mayor Ted Rehl said at a news conference. The 7,208-square-foot Sunnyside South Beloit dispensary at 7000 First Ranger Drive is visible from highly traveled Interstate 90.
“At a dozen different levels, this is a gift to South Beloit,” Rehl said.
The city expects the operation to generate sales tax revenues of about $100,000 a year for seven years. After that, the revenue would be about $700,000 a year, assuming Wisconsin doesn’t legalize marijuana for recreational use, Rehl said.
The $100,000 annual projected income for the city, which has a $6 million yearly budget, is a “lot of money,” Rehl said. The income will be used for road improvements, he said.
Rehl expects development to take off on the acreage surrounding the dispensary. He already has been approached by a few restaurants.
The proposed casino would be an economic boon for the area, luring visitors from Wisconsin and Illinois especially, proponents say. The $405 billion Ho-Chunk Nation casino planned for a site near Willowbrook and Colley roads in Beloit, Wis., received federal approval in April but is awaiting the state’s OK. The proposed Hard Rock Casino Rockford just off Interstate 90 in Rockford is awaiting state approval.
The Sunnyside South Beloit dispensary is one of 18 in the country and the eighth in the state owned and operated by Chicago-based Crestco Labs. Although Illinois now allows only those ages 21 and older to use recreational