Today, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), in partnership with the Bureau of Cannabis Control, announced $30 million in grant funding through the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions.
The program focuses on the inclusion and support of individuals in California’s legal cannabis marketplace who are from communities negatively or disproportionately impacted by cannabis criminalization. This is done through 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.
At least $23 million of the funding, in the form of low/no-interest loans or grants, will be directly allocated to applicants and licensees specifically identified by local jurisdictions as being from communities most harmed by cannabis prohibition. To date, jurisdictions seeking to create this inclusive regulatory framework represent roughly a quarter of the state’s population.
“These Cannabis Equity Grants reflect California’s desire to lead our legalization efforts with equity and inclusivity,” said Nicole Elliott, Governor Newsom’s Senior Advisor on Cannabis. “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.”