R3 Program uses millions in cannabis sales to help hard-hit communities – WAND

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – A total of $31.5 million, or 25% of the revenue the state of Illinois got from adult legal cannabis sale in 2020, is going toward a program called Restore, Reinvest and Renew (R3).

The program is a key equity element of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), which Gov. JB Pritzker signed in 2019. 

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority evaluated communities in Illinois based on gun violence, unemployment and criminal justice systems to find “R3 zones.” Several regions in Central Illinois are included, therefore giving money to organizations to encourage violence prevention, give legal aid and provide re-entry services.

“It’s really about reinvesting in the community, this grant,” said Macon County CASA Executive Director Julia Livingston. Macon County CASA is receiving about $60k from the program.

“It’s allowing us to hire brand new staff members. And essentially those staff members will allow us to take on additional cases from the judge. The less amount of time, the less trauma that these children can have, the more productive and of an adult life they can have and they can be productive for our community,” Livingston said.

Beyond organizations, cities are getting the grant as well. 

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