A local judge in the US city of Chicago has ruled to lift a temporary ban on the controversial tax on sweetened beverages that was narrowly approved by the county board last year.

Now in effect in Cook County, it makes Chicago the most populous American city to adopt the one-penny-per-ounce tax legislation, which aims to move consumers away from sweetened drinks for ‘health reasons’.

In July, Judge Daniel Kubasia had granted a temporary restraining order, which blocked the tax following a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA). But after dismissing the suit, it cleared the way for the tax to officially begin collection on August 2.

The IRMA represents more than 20,000 stores in the state and alleged that the legislation violates the state constitution in levying different taxes on similar products.