Cannabis Taxes Fund Programs for Previously Incarcerated in Springfield, Illinois

A Springfield, Illinois community center is using cannabis-derived tax funds for educational and job training programs for 30 formerly incarcerated people.

Full story after the jump.

A Springfield, Illinois community center is using cannabis-derived tax funds for educational and job training programs for 30 formerly incarcerated people, WICS/WRSP reports. The East Springfield Community Center Commission directly received more than $800,000 from the over $1.5 million directed to city non-profits.

CEO Dameon Johnson said he plans to have the program up and running by August.

“We work on essentially reintegrating them into society, helping them to find the resources they need in the community they will be residing in.”Johnson to WICS/WSRP

The center, funded by adult-use cannabis taxes, will also focus on youth violence prevention, an employment program, and mentoring, Johnson said. He added that he hopes to eventually partner with Lincoln Land Community College to provide more education options.

Through the first quarter of the year, cannabis tax revenues in Illinois surpassed $86 millionbeating alcohol tax revenues by about $14 million.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Thursday signed a bill to create new cannabis industry licenses for social equity applicantswhich have been delayed since last year which will add another 110 dispensaries throughout the state, according to a press release from state Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford’s office.

To qualify for the new licenses, 51% of the business must be owned by one or more individuals who have resided in an area disproportionally impacted by cannabis law enforcement for five out of the last 10 years, or 51% ownership must be by one or more individuals who have been arrested, convicted, or adjudicated delinquent for cannabis crimes or had a close family member (parent, child, spouse) with a cannabis offense.

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