Occupation tax established for cannabis retailers

Occupation tax established for cannabis retailers

Macoupin County workplaces to become drug-free zones

By: JACKSON WILSON

Coal Country Times Reporter

The Macoupin County Board recently agreed at its November meeting that an occupation tax is to be established within the county for any retailer associated with cannabis.

Municipalities will be able to tax along with unincorporated areas depending on the location of a distribution center.

“Right now, we don’t have one, but if we were to get one, then this would be you guys passing a tax so it would allow for us to collect on those taxes,” Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jennifer Watson told the board Nov. 12. “We have to wait and see if we end up getting something but they have to apply to get a license in order to become a distributor. If we get one in Macoupin County, then you guys can tax it.”

According to the passed ordinance, this tax is hereby imposed upon all who are engaged in the business of selling cannabis, other than any forms of it purchased under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, at county retail locations on the gross receipts from sales at the following rates.

(i) 0.75 percent of the gross receipts from sales made in the course of a business within Macoupin County incorporated areas.

(ii) 3.75 percent of the gross receipts from sales made in the course of a business within Macoupin County unincorporated areas.

(iii) The taxes must be imposed in quarter percent increments.

The imposition of this tax is in accordance with Macoupin County Cannabis Retailers’ Occupation Tax Law provisions.

Imposed ordinance-related taxes will be remitted to the Illinois Department of Revenue. Any tax required to be collected shall constitute a debt in which the retailer owes to the state. Reimbursements for seller tax liability will be allowed by separately stating taxes as additional charges. These may be stated in combinations or singular amounts with any state tax that sellers are required to obtain.

Taxes are imposed and all civil penalties assessed as incidents shall be collected and enforced by the Department of Revenue, which has full power to administer and enforce provisions of this ordinance.

Drug-Free Workplaces

Additionally, another ordinance was established to make Macoupin County workplaces drug-free, as a follow-up section to the cannabis blueprint.

The ordinance states that possession or usage of cannabis plus any other cannabis-derived products will be prohibited upon the grounds of any workplace among county lines. An employer suspicious of violations may be disciplined to the point of termination. However, the ordinance does not allow discrimination by the county against an employee, according to the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, 820 ILCS 55.

Any prohibitions while employees are ‘on-call’ are imposed. Such individuals are considered to fall under this category if scheduled to be on stand-by with at least a 24-hour notice or otherwise responsible for work-related performance.

An employer may consider an employee to be impaired or under the influence if there is a legitimate belief that the individual is displaying symptoms lessening the overall performance conducted when doing job duties or certain workplace tasks. Some examples may include speech, physical dexterity, agility, coordination, demeanor, irrational behavior, unusual behavior, negligence/carelessness in operating equipment or just simply being involved in an accident that can cause property damage and put safety at risk.

Employers are required to allow disciplined employees a reasonable opportunity to contest the basis of determinations.

“Cannabis is legal Jan. 1,” Watson mentioned. “This creates the possibility of it being carried into a government-related workplace, not used but possessed. Even though it will be legal by law, employees won’t be able to consume cannabis on their lunch hour and then come back to work.”