25% of Revenue Collected from Cannabis Sales to be Reinvested in Communities Hit Hardest by Failed War on Drugs
CHICAGO – Governor Pritzker announced today that the state has earned $52 million in revenue during the first six months of Illinois’ new adult-use cannabis industry. Last year, the Governor signed the bipartisan Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) into law, the most equity-centric recreational cannabis legalization in the nation. Since the program’s launch on January 1, $52 million has been collected in adult-use cannabis tax revenue, with $34.7 million coming from excise taxes.
“Illinois has done more to put justice and equity at the forefront of this industry than any other state in the nation, and we're ensuring that communities that have been hurt by the war on drugs have the opportunity to participate,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Since January, over $239 million has been spent on recreational cannabis in Illinois translating to $52 million in tax revenue, and a portion of every dollar spent will be reinvested in communities that have suffered from decades of disinvestment.”
The Pritzker administration collected $34.7 million in cannabis excise taxes in the second half of fiscal year 2020. In addition to the cannabis excise taxes, the Illinois Department of Revenue collected $18 million in sales taxes that will be shared with local governments. In total, the department estimates $25.9 million will be directed to the state’s General Fund from excise and sales taxes.
“I’m proud to work with Governor Pritzker in creating equity in the cannabis industry in a way that no other state has done,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Cannabis Control. “By expunging hundreds of thousands of cannabis-related records, reinvesting the money spent on adult-use cannabis in Illinois into communities that are suffering, and making equity a central focus of the cannabis licensure process, the administration is ensuring that no community is left out or left behind.”
The Pritzker Administration is committed to ensuring the new cannabis industry is equitable and offers economic opportunity for all Illinois residents, regardless of background. Under the CRTA, 25% of revenues collected from recreational cannabis sales will be either reinvested through the Restore, Reinvest and Renew (R3) Program in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the justice system, directed to address substance abuse and prevention and mental health concerns, or allocated to local governments to support their own crime prevention programs. The innovative R3 program recently announced $31.5 million in grant opportunities to organizations working in historically underserved communities across Illinois.
In addition to providing financial support to organizations offering services in disproportionately impacted communities, the administration offered lower application fees, low-interest loans, and informational workshops on cannabis-related licenses to social equity applicants. Governor Pritzker is also working with State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, the Prisoner Review Board, and state’s attorneys across Illinois to expunge the records of non-violent offenders with a cannabis related conviction.
For more information on the adult-use legal cannabis industry, visit https://www2.illinois.gov/cannabis/Pages/default.aspx.