The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development is disbursing $30 million in grant funding through the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions. The program was created in 2018 as part of the state’s Cannabis Equity Act.
According to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office, at least $23 million of the funding will be directly allocated to social equity applicants and licensees in the form of low and no-interest loans.
Nicole Elliott, the governor’s senior advisor on cannabis, said the grants “reflect California’s desire to lead our legalization efforts with equity and inclusivity.”
“We applaud these jurisdictions for not only embracing the challenge of creating pathways to participate in a legitimate cannabis marketplace, but for doing so in a thoughtful way that seeks to uplift all communities. It is our hope that these efforts lead to the creation of a truly diverse industry and that these programs serve as a blueprint for others who share in our commitment to address systemic discrimination and create real prosperity for all.” – Elliot in a statement
The cities of Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Long Beach, Palm Springs, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Clearlake, Coachella, and Stockton were awarded funds from the program along with the counties of San Francisco, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Monterey, and Nevada.
The grant program focuses on the inclusion and support of individuals in the state’s legal cannabis industry who are from communities negatively or disproportionately impacted by cannabis criminalization. The funds are designed for small business support services like technical assistance to individuals, reduced licensing fees or waived fees, assistance in recruitment, training, and retention of a qualified and diverse workforce, and business resilience such as emergency preparedness.
The funds will be available in budgets for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.