Cook County of Illinois just had its board approve a 3% tax on recreational marijuana sales this week that would begin in the summer.

When the tax on cannabis and related products takes effect on July 1, this tax rate is expected to make Cook County’s marijuana sales among the highest taxed in the country according to officials.

According to County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, imposing the tax is in line with what some suburban municipalities have done.

“We tax alcohol and cigarettes pretty heavy too,” Preckwinkle said.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen to consumption as a result of legalization,” she added. “My concern principally is, and I’ve always said this, is not about cannabis in terms of consumption … (it) is about arresting young black and brown people for possession and distribution. Since we only apparently in this country can only find black and brown people who possess and distribute marijuana, I don’t want anybody arrested for it.”

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois on Jan. 1. Customers spent nearly $3.2 million on legal weed in Illinois on the first day of sales.

Commissioner Stanley Moore, 4th said, “It’s not that I’m for or against it. I’m waiting to see how we are going to be more equitable. The county is preparing to go after revenue, and I think revenue is important. But I’d like to see more information come out about where the revenue is going to be spent, how the revenue is going to be spent. Are we going to do any economic development in poor black and brown communities? All those conversations should start taking place now, instead of taking place later when it’s too late.”

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