US (CA): Cannabis department awards nearly $100 million in grants to local governments

The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) has awarded nearly $100 million in grant funding through the Local Jurisdiction Assistance Grant Program. The program, proposed by Governor Newsom in the 2021-2022 budget and passed by the Legislature, provides funding for local jurisdictions to aid in more swiftly transitioning high numbers of provisional cannabis licenses into annual licenses. A significant number of these provisional licenses represent small, equity and legacy cannabis businesses.

17 cities and counties were awarded grant funding in amounts ranging from $400,000 to $22,000,000. Grant applications included proposals for: 
·     Additional staffing to process substantial workloads associated with transitioning businesses into the regulated market
·     IT systems to create streamlined license processing
·     Completion of environmental assessments and new initiatives for water protection and renewable energy

In their applications, several jurisdictions noted that the available grant funds will make significant impacts on existing application backlogs and create more efficient processes for the future. One jurisdiction noted that without this funding, it would require approximately 3-4 years to complete a full review of pending applications.

View the grant amounts awarded and read a summary of each jurisdiction’s proposal: Local Jurisdiction Assistance Grant Program (cannabis.ca.gov)

“The local jurisdictions receiving grants incorporated innovative approaches to meet the specific needs of their license communities, which is exactly what we were hoping for when developing this program,” said DCC Director Nicole Elliott. “Significant funding is being directed to process improvements and environmental assessments, both of which will help the state and local governments achieve short- and long-term goals.”

Grant agreements have been distributed to all jurisdictions and the distribution of funds will occur once signed agreements are returned to DCC.

The grant program directs funds to those jurisdictions with the largest populations of provisional licenses in the state. The 17 eligible jurisdictions include the top 8 jurisdictions with the highest number of provisional cultivation licenses; or the top 8 jurisdictions with the highest number of provisional manufacturing licenses and top 8 jurisdictions allowing all other cannabis activities (excluding events) with the highest provisional licenses. Jurisdictions that fell within those two criteria and had also implemented an equity program received additional funds to support the transition of equity businesses into annual licensure. Eligible jurisdictions and funding amounts were specified through the Budget Act (The Budget Act, 1115-101-0001- For local assistance).

Provisional licenses were created to facilitate the transition of cannabis operators into licensure. They provide cannabis businesses with a pathway to enter and remain in the legal market while they completed local permitting processes and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements.

For more information:
Department of Cannabis Control 
cannabis.ca.gov 


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