Last week, officials in California announced that the state had allocated $100 million in funding for the development of local cannabis markets, which would initially be used to help marijuana businesses become fully licensed. The California Department of Cannabis Control distributed the funds to 17 counties and cities where there are unequal numbers of provisional cannabis licenses. Some funding was also directed to areas with established social equity programs. This comes months after the department’s announcement that it was accepting applications for the local jurisdiction assistance grant program.
The temporary licensing category was scheduled to expire on Jan. 1, 2022, before the deadline was extended to afford localities additional time to meet environmental requirements and complete the permitting process. Nicole Elliott, director of the Department of Cannabis Control, stated that the grant funding being given to the local jurisdictions would help meet the needs of these communities as well as assist both the local and state governments to achieve their short-term and long-term goals.
The primary purposes of the funding include the following:
- Assist in completion of environmental evaluations and new initiatives for renewable energy and water protection.
- Facilitate the integration of IT systems to streamline license processing.
- Provide funds for the hire of additional staff to process significant workloads associated with business transitions into the regulated marijuana market.
The department also provided examples of how different localities had proposed to use the funds. For instance, the county and city of San Francisco stated that they would use the funds to create new staff positions that would support the efficient and quick processing of marijuana permits. In its proposal, Los Angeles stated that it would use the funds to employ more personnel to administer California Environmental Quality Act processes as well as help licensees complete locally administered processes to achieve licensure annually.
Similarly, Long Beach proposed that it would use a portion of the funding to support technology improvements, website design and training as well as hire consultants and staff to help streamline local processing applications and permitting processes. In a separate move, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development plans to award $35 million for a Marijuana Equity Grants program for local jurisdictions, which has been designed to assist local equity program efforts to support equity licensees and applicants.
In New York, the governor announced last week that her administration would establish a public-private fund that would be used to promote social equity in New York’s growing cannabis market.
The entire cannabis industry in California, including players such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS), may be happy that the state is taking steps to ease the formalization process of entities that have been finding it hard to regularize their operations in accordance with state law. This will level the playing field for all concerned.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/NUGS
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