The Chicago Sun Times reports

The grants, which go to 81 community organizations, result from the law legalizing adult-use marijuana in Illinois. It requires 25% of pot tax revenues help communities suffering from economic disinvestment, violence, and the multilayered harm of disparate weed enforcement.

In a move acknowledging harm wreaked on communities of color by decades of disparate weed enforcement during America’s war on drugs, Illinois on Thursday awarded $31.4 million in cannabis tax revenue grants to support rebuilding those communities.

The Cannabis Regulation and Trust Act made adult-use cannabis legal in Illinois starting on Jan. 1, 2020. Under that act, 25% of tax revenues go toward grants impacting communities suffering from economic disinvestment, violence and the multilayered harm of disparate enforcement.

Those revenues funded the Restore, Reinvest and Renew (R3) Program, which announced its first grants Thursday. Those grants will go to 81 groups, ranging from community and faith-based organizations to businesses and local government in designated eligible R3 zones. Recipients were selected by the R3 board, chaired by Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton; members were recruited from communities statewide.

These first-round awards come amidst complaints the state dragged its feet on doling out some $62 million in funds amassed through the R3 measure.

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