Building begins for South Beloit marijuana shop

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Clint Wolf/Beloit Daily News Construction is underway at the site of a proposed recreational marijuana dispensary in South Beloit on Monday. The site, near the intersection of Illinois Route 75 and Willowbrook Road, is hoped to be complete in January, when the sale of recreational marijuana will be legal in Illinois.

SOUTH BELOIT - Construction on a proposed recreational marijuana dispensary in South Beloit is underway, and South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl said the owners of the store hope to be open in January.

The applicant for the South Beloit facility is Cresco Labs, which operates the MedMar medical marijuana dispensary in Rockford. MedMar already has been approved for a recreational marijuana dispensary license.

The Beloit Daily News called the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation which reviews and approves recreational marijuana dispensary licenses. The department confirmed MedMar has applied for a license in South Beloit, but the license is still pending.

Rehl said he has been assured the marijuana dispensary in South Beloit is going to be a reality and the goal is to have it open and operating in January when recreational marijuana sales to those age 21 and older will be legal in Illinois.

"Sunny Side will be the name of the store," Rehl added.

Rehl said the city is anticipating receiving about $50,000 a year in tax revenue from the marijuana dispensary. However, a draft of the city budget for 2020 shows anticipated revenue from the Cannabis Sales Tax at $1 million.

Illinois municipalities and counties are able to levy additional local sales taxes on cannabis sales. The Illinois law also imposes a 7% gross receipts tax on the sale of marijuana from cultivators to dispensaries, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. Sales tax in Illinois is 6.3% and the combined local and state sales tax in South Beloit currently is 7.25%.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has issued 30 licenses for recreational marijuana dispensaries so far.

State officials have said they will issue up to 75 licenses in the first year of recreational marijuana being legal in Illinois.

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