Illinois is using $31 million from cannabis-derived taxes for its Restore, Reinvest and Renew Program, a grant program aimed at small businesses and non-profits in disadvantaged communities, the Quad-City Times reports. The state’s recreational cannabis law sets aside 25 percent of net tax revenues for reinvestment into communities most harmed by the drug war.
The program grants focus on civil legal aid funding, economic development, reentry into society by former inmates, violence prevention, and youth development. The grantees are determined by a 32-member board, Lieutenant Gov. Julianna Stratton (D), who oversees the program along with the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Agency, explained to the Times.
“Gov. [J.B.] Pritzker and our entire administration worked hard in conjunction with members of the General Assembly, the Black Caucus and community organizations. It’s great to see this revenue come in and hopefully see those disadvantaged communities do some rebuilding.” – Stratton to the Times
Cannabis sales in Illinois seem to reach new highs almost monthly. Since legal cannabis sales launched in January – reaching $39.2 million – twice the state has set sales records, including $44.3 million in May and $47.6 million in June. Illinois has collected $52 million in tax revenue from cannabis sales during the first six months of 2020, according to state figures outlined by the Chicago Tribune.
Pritzker predicted the state would see $28 million from cannabis taxes through June 30. Sales since January have topped $239.1 million.
The deadline to apply for the R3 grants is July 20.