California regulators have announced $30 million in grants for local jurisdictions to fund social equity initiatives in the state’s cannabis program.
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has partnered with the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) to provide the grant funding through the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions, which aims to support cannabis entrepreneurs from communities disproportionately impacted by prohibition.
The grants can be used for small business support services such as technical assistance, reduced or waived licensing fees, recruitment assistance, workforce training and retention, and emergency preparedness.
Roughly $23 million of the funding represents low or no-interest loans or grants that will be directly allocated to cannabis applicants and licensees that jurisdictions have identified as being from communities most harmed by the war on drugs.
“These Cannabis Equity Grants reflect California’s desire to lead our legalization efforts with equity and inclusivity,” Nicole Elliott, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s senior advisor on cannabis, said in a public statement. “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."