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420 with CNW — Illinois Disburses $45 Million from Cannabis Taxes to Repair Drug War Harms

Early this year, the Illinois Department of Revenue estimated that in the two years since it first launched its recreational cannabis market, Illinois had collected more than $500 million in cannabis taxes. Now the state is planning on using some of those funds to repair the societal harms caused by the failed war on drugs and decades of prohibition.

Illinois officials recently announced that they would be awarding $45 million in grants to reinvest in communities that had been hit the hardest by the drug war. Money generated from taxing the sale of recreational marijuana in the state would be used to fund these grants through the state’s Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program. The program was created in 2019 when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a cannabis legalization initiative into law.

This is the second time the R3 program has provided funding to reinvest in communities that were disproportionately affected by prohibition.

The $45 million will be used to provide financial support to 148 programs that are operated by small organizations in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.

Speaking during a press conference, Governor Pritzker said that fixing the mistakes of the drug war was key to creating a “modern and equitable cannabis industry.” This means dedicating funding to underserved communities that have had little access to investment and resources, he said, noting that Illinois was proud to use funds generated from cannabis sales to help these communities heal and prosper.

The state announced in December 2021 that applications for this second funding round were open. According to the Illinois Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), there were 512 complete applications for the grants. Stakeholders and community residents then vetted these applications before settling on 148 recipients. Recipients include Resilience Partners NFP, Lifehouse Recovery Organization, Women in Need Recover, Illinois Equity Staffing LLC and the Illinois Prison Project, which all received a portion of the $1.5 million grant.

Illinois provided $31 million in grant funding under the R3 program in May 2020, a year after the state began recreational cannabis sales. The organizations that were awarded grants in the first round of grants will have their funding renewed this year as well to ensure they keep serving their communities without any disruptions.

Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton stated in a press release that the state is putting its money where its mouth is and taking steps to reduce the harms caused by the drug war. Moving forward, the R3 program will be central to the state’s efforts to reinvest in and heal underserved and unheard regions.

The way in which cannabis taxes are being put to use to help communities that were most impacted by the misguided war on drugs in Illinois shows just how much good can result when jurisdictions open their doors to legitimate marijuana companies such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC).

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/FLGC

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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