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420 with CNW — California Officials Dispatch $12M in Grants to Fix Drug-War Harms

California authorities have allocated $12 million in grants to various cities in the state, funded by taxes from cannabis sales. These funds are provided to support equity initiatives for individuals disproportionately affected by previous antidrug campaigns.

This latest disbursement is part of the ongoing Marijuana Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions, administered by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). The primary objective is to promote economic justice by addressing the historical impacts of marijuana prohibition and the antidrug war. The program seeks to eliminate hurdles for individuals and communities seeking to participate in the regulated marijuana industry.

The funds from the initiative will be channeled into local initiatives offering technical guidance, assistance with regulatory compliance and aid in securing initial capital for licensees and applicants. Grant applications are open in 10 cities and counties that intend to create or improve cannabis-related equality programs, including the following:

  • Oakland City: $3,000,000.00
  • San Francisco County and City: $2,041,520.62
  • Trinity County: $1,812,729.52
  • Mendocino County: $1,803,929.86
  • Sacramento City: $1,250,000.00
  • San Jose City: $1,026,820.00
  • Humboldt County: $600,000.00
  • Coachella City: $350,000.00
  • Daly City: $75,000.00
  • Santa Monica City: $40,000.00

San Jose announced its acceptance of the allocated funds, noting that it intended to support graduates of its Marijuana Equity Business Academy, helping them start and maintain their businesses and cover expenses such as regulatory compliance and legal counsel. Will Koch, GO-Biz’s deputy director of local and community equity grants, expressed excitement about backing San Jose’s initiatives to make it easier for people to enter the legal cannabis sector.

In the previous fiscal year, grants from the GO-Biz program were distributed to 16 counties and cities across California. Oakland received the highest amount, approximately $2 million, while San Diego County received the lowest at $350,000.

The office intends to issue another grant in October 2024, with Governor Gavin Newsom proposing an additional $15 million for the program in his latest budget request. To address larger budget deficits, Newsom has suggested taking out a $100 million loan from a cannabis tax fund.

In parallel efforts, the state Cannabis Control Department (DCC) has doubled funding to localities to expedite the opening of legal marijuana retailers, aiming to undercut the illicit market. Additionally, DCC recently launched a comprehensive cannabis database to provide stakeholders with insights into industry trends and sales data.

According to a DCC-commisansioned poll, an estimated 62% of adults believe California’s legalization of marijuana has had a positive impact, surpassing the margin of those who originally voted for legalization.

The equity grants being issued by California illustrate how legalizing marijuana and allowing companies such as Green Thumb Industries Inc. (CSE: GTII) (OTCQX: GTBIF) to operate can be a force for societal good in many ways besides creating stable employment opportunities.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The 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. 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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