California Announces Cannabis Equity Grant Funding

California is designating millions of dollars in cannabis equity grants to local jurisdictions.

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) on Monday announced $15 million in grant funding for communities disproportionately affected by cannabis criminalization.

According to the BCC, funding will go to affected communities and populations that have committed to promoting equity in the legal cannabis market and eliminating barriers to entering the industry.

The grants stem from a partnership between the BCC and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

More than $11 million will go to cannabis equity applicants and licensees in the form of low or no-interest loans or grants.

“Cannabis prohibition and criminalization has had devastating impacts on generations of Californians,” says Senior Advisor on Cannabis to the Governor Nicole Elliot. “As we work to safely reopen our economy, leading with equity across all sectors will ensure a just recovery and further our commitment to create a truly diverse legal industry. These efforts stand as a testament to our values as a state, and I applaud the work being done by these jurisdictions as they thoughtfully embrace this challenge.”

Cannabis convictions can hinder efforts to enter the legal cannabis industry.

The BCC says that difficulties lie in a lack of access to capital, business space, technical support, and regulatory compliance assistance.

Funding for the Future

Local jurisdictions will use their funding to develop cannabis equity programs and assist applicants and licensees with low or no-interest loans or grants, reduce or waive licensing fees, and technical assistance.

Assistance includes personal consulting, training, and navigation assistance with cannabis licensing and regulations.

Green Peakz CEO Jessie Grundy says that the California Cannabis Equity Grant was one of the best things to happen to her company.

“I was able to hire drivers and sales representatives,” says Grundy in a BCC press release. “California investing in Californians is the key to equity work. Thank you to the team at GO-Biz for doing more than just helping us get licenses, but also investing in equity companies being successful.”

The funding announced this week is in addition to $40 million in equity grants that California has awarded previously.

People interested in learning about the program or applying for funding can do so via the official website.

Local Jurisdiction Funding for Cannabis Equity Applicants/Licensees
· City of Oakland – $2,434,712.51
· City and County of San Francisco – $2,055,841.43
· City of Los Angeles – $2,030,997.42
· City of Sacramento – $1,813,612.38
· City of Long Beach – $1,267,044.26
· City of Fresno – $1,204,934.25
· County of Humboldt – $1,055,870.22
· County of Lake – $888,173.18
· City of Palm Springs – $869,540.18
· County of Mendocino – $832,274.17
Total: $14,453,000

Local Jurisdiction Funding for Cannabis Equity Assessment/Program Development
· County of San Diego – $75,000
· County of Sonoma – $75,000
· County of Trinity – $75,000
· City of Escondido – $75,000
· City of Isleton – $22,000
· City of Modesto – $75,000
· City of Richmond – $75,000
· City of San Diego – $75,000
Total: $547,000