Illinois officials announced on Wednesday that applications are opening for $45 million in new grants—funded by marijuana tax revenue—that will support programs meant to reinvest in communities most harmed by the drug war. This will be the second round of funding to be issued through the state’s Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) program, which was established under Illinois’s adult-use cannabis legalization policy. The law requires 25 percent of marijuana tax dollars to be put in that fund and used to provide disadvantaged people with services such as legal aid, youth development, community reentry and financial support. “In the pursuit of justice, progress isn’t possible without accountability. We must acknowledge and address the trauma inflicted by the war on cannabis, which incarcerated countless nonviolent offenders and tore apart families and neighborhoods in the process,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said at a press conference on Wednesday. “That is the core tenet of Illinois cannabis legalization framework and what sets Illinois apart from other states that have legalized: we’re prioritizing investments in communities that were previously harmed for what is now legal,” he said. Earlier this year, $31.5 million in R3 grants were distributed to 80 organizations. The sizable increase in funding this time around reflects the boom in cannabis sales that Illinois has seen over the past year, with multiple record-breaking months.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/15/2021 11:58:00

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