California Awards $4.1M to Help Expand Cannabis Retail Access

The California Department of Cannabis Control awarded 18 municipalities with $4.145 million in grants aimed at expanding access to licensed retail cannabis throughout the state.

Full story after the jump.

The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) on Tuesday awarded 18 municipalities $4.145 million in grants to expand access to licensed retail cannabis. Fourteen of the grants – totaling $870,000 – were awarded to jurisdictions that want to issue licenses to operators who have been negatively or disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.

In a statement, Department of Cannabis Control Acting Director Rasha Salama said the program “will help provide access to regulated cannabis retail for over 2 million Californians that currently live in an area where access to licensed cannabis retail businesses is insufficient.”

Grant recipients can use the grant money to develop retailer licensing programs to assist in issuing retail cannabis licenses. This includes drafting and adopting ordinances, hiring staff and contractors, holding community outreach and engagement events, forming stakeholder workgroups or technical advisory committees, conducting economic studies and environmental reviews, developing application forms or online application portals, and processing and issuing cannabis retail licenses.

The first round of funding was prioritized for areas in California where national surveys find high cannabis consumption but where there is little to no access to legal cannabis retail, the DCC said in a press release, and incentivized local best practices by prioritizing programs that support social equity operators and use existing licensing and permitting practices.

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