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420 with CNW — California Kickstarts $20M Grant Initiative to Boost Marijuana Retail Sales

California’s Cannabis Control Department (DCC) launched a $20 million grant program to help local governments increase consumer access to legal marijuana products. The Local Jurisdiction Retail Access Grant, which is being hailed as the first program of its kind in the country, aims to give local governments the tools they need to increase access to cannabis products in marginalized areas.

According to the department, the grant program will make use of current licensing and permitting procedures to create and implement marijuana retail licensing programs in regions of California where cannabis use is prevalent, but consumers have little to no access to legal retail.

During the news release, DCC director Nicole Elliott stated that expanding access to the state’s retail marijuana market was a critical step in ensuring consumer safety and promoting a healthy market. The lack of retail access to cannabis has long been a major issue for the state, even causing annual sales to fall in 2022 for the first time since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2018.

Most areas of California are considered marijuana deserts since a majority of the counties and cities forbid retail sales, which severely limits the market’s potential growth. One such area is Orange County, which has no cannabis retail. The county, despite being the third largest in the state, only permits cannabis sales in four cities: Costa Mesa, Stanton, La Hambra and Santa Ana.

According to the DCC, California has about 33 counties that do not permit cannabis licenses, with nine of them having significant marijuana consumption. These counties, as well as the cities within them, will be given priority review in the event that they submit a grant application and set up a permitting program.

The department will start accepting applications for grants from March 10, 2023. There will be two phases to the distribution of grant funds, with the deadline for phase I funding being April 28, 2023. DCC also released grant guidelines, which described the requirements for applications.

Local governments that either don’t have a cannabis retail program or have plans to adopt one are qualified for grant funding. The grants can be used to fund environmental reviews, licensee and equity applicant assistance, permitted expenses and personnel costs. The program will first distribute grants totaling up to $10 million by June 20, 2023. Then the remaining $10 million will be made available to awardees after June 30 once the DCC begins issuing licenses, which could take as long as 2024 or even longer.

However, no such grant programs exist for companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) seeking to commercialize THC-based treatments for indications, including chronic pain and other clinical conditions.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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