Continuing its work to shift cannabis consumers from the illegal market into the legal market by expanding access to legal cannabis retail where such access does not currently exist, the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is issuing revised and updated Phase II guidelines for the Local Jurisdiction Retail Access Grant (LJRAG), making it more accessible for local jurisdictions to apply for funding.

Designed to assist local jurisdictions in establishing cannabis retail licensing programs and issuing retail licenses, Phase II of the program also increases award amounts to local jurisdictions.

“There are still many locations throughout the state where cannabis usage is notable, but existing consumers do not have convenient access to legal retail cannabis,” said DCC Director Nicole Elliott. “We know that cannabis consumers often make purchasing choices based on convenience, so sufficient access to legal retail reinforces extremely important consumer safeguards.”

Phase II funding is tied to the local jurisdiction’s issuance of local permits or licenses authorizing cannabis retail. Under the revised Phase II guidelines released today, eligible local jurisdictions may apply for funding regardless if they participated in Phase I. This means that more than 300 cities and counties may be able to pursue funding in Phase II.

Phase II Eligible Applicants: Local jurisdictions (city, county, or city and county) that:

  • Prior to July 1, 2022, it did not have a cannabis retail licensing program in existence.
  • Has a plan to develop and implement a cannabis retail licensing program and;
  • Has issued one or more cannabis retail licenses to cannabis businesses within the jurisdiction of the city or county pursuant to that program.

In addition to expanding the eligibility for potential applicants, the Phase II funding amounts for the issuance of a retailer license and equity retailer license have been doubled. Now, a jurisdiction may receive $150,000 per eligible retailer license and $300,000 per eligible equity retailer license issued, subject to available funding. The previous amounts were $75,000 and $150,000.

$15 million will be available for award in Phase II. Phase I awarded $4.1 million in grants to 18 cities and counties throughout the state.

Source: Department of Cannabis Control