Humboldt County, California’s Board of Supervisors has approved a $1 million emergency grant program to help cannabis cultivators after wholesale cannabis prices dropped from $1,100 a pound to $400 a pound, the Mad River Union reports.
Economic Development Director Scott Adair told the Union that the county’s cannabis farmers are facing a market emergency and that his office has been “inundated” with “urgent, perhaps even desperate” requests for assistance.
“These pleas for aid and relief stem from the recent bottoming of the cannabis market where the price per pound is now less than the cost to cultivate, process and distribute that product.”—Adair to the Union
The program will include grants up to $10,000 for individual farm operators and up to $50,000 for collaborative operations. A staff report reported that the majority of 50 cannabis farmers surveyed said they would be unable to meet their October excise tax payments.
Adair said, in addition to the price drop, cannabis farmers are also facing drought and wildfires, and that transportation, regulatory compliance, and access to irrigation supply are cheaper and easier in other parts of the state that also have good growing climates and open, flatter, terrain.
“Typically, we don’t replace lost revenue but we will support activities and expenditures which are designed to help increase revenue for the applicants or to reduce other costs so that the margin of revenue increases,” he said in the report.
The emergency grants are in addition to the county’s Project Trellis cannabis business assistance program, which is funded through a 10% share of the county’s cannabis excise tax revenue, which is expected to decrease sharply.
The request is expected to be approved at the October 5 board meeting.
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