The City of Sacramento has been awarded $1.8 million in state funding to increase equity in its local cannabis industry.
The funding — part of the “Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions” — comes from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, in partnership with the Bureau of Cannabis Control.
The grant program “seeks to advance economic justice for populations and communities disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition by providing funding to local jurisdictions that are committed to promoting equity in the legal cannabis marketplace and eliminating barriers to entering the regulated cannabis industry,” the Governor’s office said.
Sacramento received the fourth highest allocation from the $15 million program, behind Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Sacramento previously has been awarded this funding, which it has used to support members of its Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity (CORE) program.
“We received a similar grant last year that allowed us to give revolving loans to CORE members,” said Davina Smith, Cannabis Manager for the City. “This year’s grant allows us to give members of the program additional assistance in the form of business start-up costs and direct technical assistance.”
That technical assistance will cover legal issues, cannabis regulatory compliance, accounting and taxes, construction and architecture, security, marketing/branding, human relations and labor issues and commercial real estate consultation, Smith said.
“The biggest impediments our CORE members have faced are the high costs of the cannabis industry,” Smith said. “We’re putting together the pieces and making a comprehensive package of opportunities available to those who need it most. This is one way of trying to make right the wrongs that have burdened people who were affected by the War on Drugs.”
The City established its CORE program in 2018. Sacramento is one of 12 cities across California to receive local jurisdiction equity funding from the state this year.
The City in January made 10 new storefront cannabis dispensary permits available to CORE participants, adding to 30 permits already allowed citywide. A group of independent reviewers currently are evaluating more than 100 proposals for those permits and is expected to announce its selections by the end of March.