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California Boosts Social Equity Funding for Cannabis Businesses

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The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has announced that $15 million will be available through its Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions for 2023 to 2024.

Eligible cannabis businesses in California can apply for equity funding from 6 November 2023.

The grants aim to advance economic justice for people who have been disproportionately impacted by prohibition policies and will be providing support to local jurisdictions to promote equity and eliminate barriers to the industry.

A newly published report outlining the details of the funding programme states: The California Department of Justice data shows that from 2006 – 2015, inclusive, African American/Black Californians were two times more likely to be arrested for cannabis misdemeanors and five times more likely to be arrested for cannabis felonies than Caucasian/White Californians.

“During the same period, Latinx/Hispanic Californians were 35 percent more likely to be arrested for cannabis crimes than Caucasian/White Californians. The collateral consequences associated with cannabis law violations, coupled with generational poverty and lack of access to resources, make it extraordinarily difficult for persons with convictions to enter the newly regulated industry.”

The report outlines that a total of $15 million will be available under two application types, the first of which are subject to a maximum request of $75,000, with the total amount available for this application type being $1 million, and the second are subject to a maximum request of $3 million, which will be allocated grant funds using a point-based scoring system and funding formula.

Funding available under the second application “will be the difference between the total amount of funding available for the fiscal year and the total amount approved for Funding Request Type 1 applications.”

All applications must be submitted through the Online Application Portal by December 14, 2023, 11:59 pm. To see full details on application requirements please visit: https://business.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/CEG-Program-Grant-Solicitation-FY-2023-24.pdf

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