Cities across California are creating and expanding equity programs with the help of grant funding from the state.
The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), state regulatory agency turned recipient of the DEA’s wrath, and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) have issued $40 million to cities and counties across the state to support equity programs. These programs are meant to help people who have been harmed and disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition establish businesses in the industry.
In July, the BCC sent a nearly 500-page report to the state legislature that includes documents submitted from city and county officials expressing the need for equity programs and plans for creating them. Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary are speaking with recipients of the BCC and GO-Biz funds.
While some of the $40 million flowed as far south as Coachella, Palm Springs and Long Beach, one of the locales it reached wasn’t very far from the state government: the capital. Sacramento received more than $5 million of the funds distributed by the BCC and Go-Biz. It’s not the most any city received but also not the least; Oakland received the most with more than $8 million, and Stockton received the least with an even $60,000.
Sacramento officials, through the Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity (CORE) program, work in tandem with state regulators on equity efforts in working to help launch and support equity businesses.
Davina Smith, who started as Sacramento’s cannabis program manager in January, said 13 equity businesses are up and running in the city. Storefront dispensary licenses remain capped at 30 for both the adult-use and medical markets, though Smith said that number could soon increase to 40. For now, the city’s 13 equity businesses are mostly cultivators, manufacturers and delivery dispensaries. Below are some of