The value of cannabis sales to a government are usually expressed in cold monetary terms: the millions of dollars that flow into public coffers over the course of a month or year. Once in a while, though, the world gets a visceral reminder of what these revenues can actually mean.

Cannabis sales have raised $800 million in tax revenue statewide this year.

The city of Chicago provided a vivid example last Saturday. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that she had cancelled plans to eliminate 350 city jobs because of the windfall the city received due to sales of recreational and medical marijuana. The cuts would have come through a combination of layoffs and furloughs, plus the elimination of some vacant positions.

Covid ravaged the city’s tax…

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