California’s BCC (Bureau of Cannabis Control) has submitted a report to the Legislature on local jurisdictions awarded social equity grant funds authorized by the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 (Equity Act) and the Budget Act of 2019. Both Acts require the BCC to submit a report to the Legislature on the progress of local cannabis equity programs in local jurisdictions that received grant funds pursuant to these provisions.
What does the report address?
The report describes all the equity grant funding awarded by the BCC and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). Funds were granted to local jurisdictions to provide direct technical assistance to local equity applicants and licensees through their local equity programs.
How much Social Equity Grant Funding was awarded?
So far, the state has awarded a total of $40 million in equity grant funding. The Bureau was initially appropriated $10 million in funding and awarded funds to 10 local jurisdictions in October 2019. Additionally, the BCC and GO-Biz were each appropriated $15 million in equity grant funding. The BCC entered into an interagency agreement with GO-Biz to administer the process for its $15 million in grant funding. In April 2020, GO-Biz awarded $30 million in grant funding on behalf of GO-Biz and the BCC.
Why Social Equity Grant Funding matters.
Diversity is important in any industry but most especially in the cannabis industry due to the impact the “War on Drugs” has had on minorities and their communities. Legalization helps these communities but more can be done.
Social Equity Grants are meant to increase diversity. They are available to cannabis applicants that meet special requirements indicating they do not have the same advantages as most other applicants. For instance, the applicant might be a person of color, a woman, or starting a cannabis business in an underserved community. These grants help the social equity applicants obtain equal footing with their competition.
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