Evanston, Illinois voted to allow cannabis dispensaries to open around their town. The taxes these dispensaries pay will be put towards a fund for the city’s African American residents.
What We Know:
- The city explained that this policy will help keep the area diverse by encouraging fewer African American families to leave. According to the US Census, the black population decreased from 22.5% in 2000 to 16.9% in 2017. The city sees it as a chance to rectify the wrong through this new source of revenue.
- One supporter of the measure stated that “the tax on marijuana will be invested in the community it unfairly policed and damaged, the plan stems from the idea that African Americans should disproportionately benefit from the sale of cannabis … because they have been disproportionately affected by the policing of marijuana — both nationally and locally.”
- The trend the city sees as an issue has been looked at since last year. The main reason for the decline in the African American population was due to the growth of Big 10 universities in the area creating ongoing gentrification efforts. This issue has been dividing citizens of Chicago with multiple suburbs voting to ban dispensaries within city limits.
The fund will be used to support community programs for minorities. The fund will be capped at $10 million and could generate approximately $500,000 to $750,000 per year.