Illinois sitting on $62 million in cannabis revenue meant to foster businesses and help neighborhoods hurt by poverty and violence

The funding is targeted to help areas that have been ravaged by high rates of shootings, poverty, unemployment and incarceration
Chicago Tribune (US)
Saturday, January 16, 2021

us color in cannabisDespite promises that cannabis legalization in Illinois would fund more minority business participation and neighborhood improvements, the state has yet to spend $62 million collected for those purposes. Part of the delay in awarding the money is due to problems with the state’s system to award new cannabis business licenses. The other reason for the holdup, officials say, is because of an outpouring of requests for funding. The lack of help for communities and entrepreneurs who need it badly is another reason for state officials to issue new licenses as soon as they can, said state Sen. Heather Steans, co-sponsor of the law that legalized marijuana and taxed it to help people in the state’s most desperate areas.