LOS ANGELES, CA – March 1, 2021 – The National Diversity and Inclusion Cannabis Alliance (NDICA) announced today it has received one of 80 grants totaling $31.5 million awarded by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) to help communities hit the hardest by the War on Drugs. This grant makes NDICA the only multi-state funded, cannabis non-profit operator in the area of social justice and social equity in cannabis.
NDICA received a grant to support both youth development and economic development services. As part of this program, NDICA will provide youth programming, vocational training, record expungement, and workforce development services in the Cook South Suburban region of Illinois.
Using revenue from adult-use cannabis sales, the ICJIA is funding violence prevention, legal aid, and re-entry services as part of the Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program. The R3 Program was a key equity component of the Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), signed into law by Governor Pritzker in 2019. The law requires that 25 percent of all cannabis revenue be used to support communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs, and nearly 400 organizations applied for funding through the R3 Program.
“We have been working in Illinois in the area of social equity for several years as a self-funded organization,” said Bonita Money, executive director and founder of NDICA. “We applaud Illinois’ progressive measures to fund additional social justice programs with revenue generated through adult-use cannabis sales. We are excited and grateful to be able to expand our programs and services in the Chicago suburbs to assist low-income communities and marginalized people of color,” she added.
In 2019, NDICA was awarded the California CAL RG GOBIZ Community Re-investment Grant, which is also funded by cannabis tax revenue.
Kelly Evans, executive director of NDICA Illinois and former chief of staff to Illinois Cannabis Czar Toi Hutchinson, further explained, “this grant will allow NDICA to assist people in disenfranchised Chicago communities to not only participate in the cannabis industry but, through expungement activities, also address their criminal background issues that have historically created major barriers to gainful employment, educational and housing opportunities in general.”
Services will be delivered by NDICA at its Illinois facility in Cook South Suburban, as well as through a remote education portal. To learn more about this program, contact NDICA at email@example.com.
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The National Diversity & Inclusion Cannabis Alliance (NDICA) is a non-profit working to promote social equity and social justice in the cannabis industry. With chapters in Los Angeles, CA, Fresno, CA, Chicago, IL, Oklahoma City, OK, and Columbus, OH, NDICA exists to help ensure that people who were negatively affected by the War on Drugs are represented in the legal cannabis industry throughout the country. NDICA works with social equity applicants and license holders in need of technical assistance, mentorship and resources to ensure a fair and equitable cannabis industry. Visit www.thendica.org to learn more.