The city of Portland, Oregon has issued two grants to cannabis businesses owned by African Americans, The Oregonian reports.
According to Portland city economic development agency Prosper Portland, the grants were awarded for the benefit of people who were harmed most by the many decades of cannabis prohibition. Prosper Portland said Portland is the first municipal government to invest in “communities disproportionately harmed by cannabis criminalization.”
Two grants of $30,000 each will go to two different companies. One is a cannabis delivery service called Green Box available by subscription. The other is a cannabis retailer that offers an apprenticeship program to young African Americans called Green Hop.
The city hopes the grants will help bridge the “racially divided capital gap.”
Adrian Wayman, CEO of Green Box, told reporters that the $30,000 grant will allow his company to “leap forward.”
“As a 100 percent bootstrapped company, limited funding has inhibited our growth,” said Wayman.
Portland, the largest city in Oregon, has positioned itself at the forefront of city cannabis policy since Oregon voted to legalize in 2014. Last year, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) was one of many mayors from major cities who wrote to federal lawmakers about the need to reform national cannabis laws.
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