Illinois Earmarks $45M from Cannabis Taxes for Community Development Grants

Illinois will attribute another $45 million derived from cannabis taxes toward community grants for communities most impacted by the war on drugs.

Full story after the jump.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) on Wednesday announced another $45 million in cannabis tax-derived Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) grants, which are earmarked for communities most impacted by the war on drugs. The round includes $40.5 million for organizations that provide civil legal aid services, economic development, re-entry from the criminal justice system, violence prevention, and youth development. Another $4.5 million is made available for capacity-building grants to help small organizations expand, the Governor’s Office said.

The program is funded using 25% of adult-use cannabis tax revenues.

“As we launch applications for the second round of R3 grants, I know our recipients will keep transforming lives with their work, and in turn transform our cities and state. Because when we reinvest in the potential of our people, we invite the economic activity that creates resiliency. When we renew hope in communities historically left out, we inspire the next generation to pursue a brighter future. And in public service, that is our obligation.” Pritzker in a statement

Of the available funds, 75% will be dedicated to organizations that have been in operation for less than five years or have a budget of less than $2 million, according to the Governor’s Office, which notes that the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) which manages the program offers an online, self-guided technical assistance course and online webinars for the program.

ICJIA Acting Executing Director Delrice Adams said the agency continues to “prioritize equity-centered grant-making and ensure much-needed resources are distributed fairly and efficiently.”

“We also recognize our responsibility to provide technical assistance to build community and organizational capacity within small organizations, not only to apply for and access grant funding, but also to manage those funds successfully in alignment with the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act,” Adams said in a statement. “Technical assistance is crucial to local programs working to achieve their goals.”

In July, the state appropriated $31 million in funds collected from the state’s cannabis tax for the program.

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