Let’s get the headlines while the getting’s still good. Illinois just became the 11th state in the good old U.S. of A. to legalize recreational cannabis. Once we get to like the fifteenth so, which will be pretty soon, I think we can all shrug our shoulders instead of making a big deal.
But for now, it’s still kind of cool and newsworthy. Even more notable, Illinois made $3.2 million in its first day of legal sales, and with only 37 licensed pot shops. That handful of establishments conducted more than 77,000 cannabis transactions on January 1, as reported by CBS News.
Some are getting pretty excited over where all that weed money is going too.
“The amazing thing about that, is that there’s a significant portion of these dollars that go directly into this community reinvestment fund, so we can continue to rebuild communities that have been hardest hit by the war on drugs,” said Toi Hutchinson, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s senior advisor for cannabis control.
“So, sales are great, but let’s never lose sight of the impact that we’re having on families around this state.”
In addition to directing funds toward the healing of drug war wounds, Pritzker’s office is also making a concerted effort to expunge low level cannabis-related criminal offenses. So far, the governor has pardoned more than 11,000 weed crimes. Roughly 800,000 more Illinoisans may be eligible for expungements.
“There’s many, many more to come,” Hutchinson said.
“Today is a historic new day, and as we move forward with growing this industry, I thank all those who worked hard to make the launch a success and will continue to dedicate themselves to expanding opportunities and righting the wrongs of the past.”
Photo via Flickr user David Gach