Sunday, June 30, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Come Jan. 1, 2020, recreational marijuana use and possession will be legal in Illinois, and one Maywood woman wants to make sure that minorities don’t miss out on what’s likely to be a booming industry.
“There are so many opportunities and so many lanes you can create for yourself within this industry,” said Tennille Campbell, days after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois.
The legislation, which Pritzker signed into law on June 25, would allow residents who are at least 21 to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana; up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate; and 500 milligrams of THC, which is the main active ingredient in cannabis.
The law also allows roughly 700,000 residents with low-level marijuana arrests and convictions eligible for expungement and allocates 25 percent of revenues derived from legalization — which are estimated to be $57 million during the next fiscal year and $500 million a year once the industry is mature — to the Restore, Reinvest and Renew Grant Program.
According to a fact sheet provided by the Illinois Justice Project, the program’s revenues will go to “communities that have been ravaged by violence and have been disproportionately impacted by historical economic disinvestment.”
The state will also create a $30 million “low-interest loan program to create opportunity for entrepreneurs in the communities that deserve it the most (from the war on drugs),” Pritzker tweeted on June 25.
Campbell, 39, said that she senses a huge opportunity for minorities “to get into this industry and create generational wealth,” and to seize on an opportunity to be healthier, which is why she decided to host a series of Cannabis Educational Summits in Maywood in July, August and September.
Campbell, who is working on her master’s degree in clinical mental health, said that the health benefits of cannabis are apparent in people with a range of conditions — from HIV and cancer to autism.
“I want to stop the stigma about cannabis,” she said.
The first summit will be on July 20, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Maywood Public Library, 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.
Presenters include Jondae Scott, the Illinois chapter president of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, and Edie Moore, the executive director of Chicago Norml, a marijuana advocacy organization.
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