CHICAGO (WMBD) — Illinois has seen record-breaking sales and tax revenue in the adult-use cannabis industry, and lawmakers have earmarked a portion of these funds for underserved communities.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that Illinois has seen an increase of nearly $147.6 million in tax revenue on sales of adult-use cannabis over the past fiscal year, up to $445.3 million in the fiscal year 2022 from $297.7 million in the fiscal year 2021. Cannabis sales have also seen a rise, increasing from $1 billion to $1.5 billion in the same period.

“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 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.”

Under Illinois’ adult-use cannabis law, 25 percent 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.

“These much-needed resources for communities impacted by the drug war are the exact reason why policymakers who understand the pain and trauma being experienced by community is vital,” said State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria). “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.”

Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program has awarded $113.5 million in grants to support and invest in underserved communities since its inception.