The California Department of Cannabis Control announced on Saturday that they are now accepting applications for fee waivers for equity licensees. To be eligible, businesses must have 50% equity applicant ownership and have, or expect to have, gross annual receipts of $1.5 million or less.
Equity applicants in California must check at least one of the following: they were arrested for cannabis prior to November 8, 2016; their household income is less than or equal to 60% of the local median income where they live; and/or they must have lived five years between 1980 and 2016 in a neighborhood disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
The aid comes just in time for some California adult cannabis licensees. Last month, more than 30 cannabis businesses and advocates sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsome (D) and legislative leaders warning of an industry-wide “collapse” due to excessive taxes and fees. In their appeal, they wrote:
“The California cannabis system is a nation-wide mockery; a public policy lesson in what not to do. Despite decades of persecution by the government, we have been willing and adaptable partners in the struggle to regulate cannabis. We have asked tirelessly for change, with countless appeals to lawmakers that have gone unheard. We have collectively reached a point of intolerable tension, and we will no longer support a system that perpetuates a failed and regressive War on Drugs.”
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