The state saw a 50% increase in total tax reported from adult-use cannabis this year, and a good portion of that money is reserved for Illinois communities who’ve suffered from drug crime the most.
Governor JB Prtizker announced Monday that state tax revenue from recreational cannabis increased from $297.7 million its first year to $445.3 million last year. Under Illinois’ adult-use cannabis law, 25% of tax revenue generated from cannabis sales must support communities that are economically distressed, experience high rates of violence and have been disproportionately impacted by drug criminalization.
Prtizker revealed that adult-use cannabis sales totaling $1.5 billion helped local governments through disbursements of $146.2 million all together.
“This isn’t just happening. These directed resources were the result of intentional policy decisions to begin repairing harm. But this is just the beginning. I am eager to see newly licensed Black businesses get a slice of the pie,” said State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Chicago). “These much-needed resources for communities impacted by the drug war are the exact reason why policy makers who understand the pain and trauma being experienced by community is vital.”
To date, the state has awarded $113.5 million in grants, using funds generated from taxes on adult-use cannabis sales to support and invest underserved communities through Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program.
Created by Illinois’ historic cannabis legalization law, the R3 Program is designed to help communities affected by issues like gun violence, child poverty, unemployment and unnecessary imprisonment through funding from adult-use cannabis sales.
“Illinois has done more to put justice and equity at the forefront of this industry than any other state in the nation and has worked to ensure that communities hurt by the war on drugs have had the opportunity to participate,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The $1.5 billion in sales of adult-use cannabis in Illinois translates into significant tax revenue with a portion of every dollar spent being reinvested in communities that have suffered for decades.