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published on March 15, 2021 - 2:12 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

A government cannabis grant will provide funds for communities impacted by cannabis prohibition, and the City of Fresno is on the list.

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Bureau of Cannabis Control announced $15 million in grand funding through the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for local jurisdictions.

The City of Fresno will receive more than $1.2 million from the program.

The equity grant program aims to advance economic opportunities for people and communities disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition by funding local jurisdictions working to promote equality in the cannabis and eliminating barriers to entry.

“Cannabis prohibition and criminalization has had devastating impacts on generations of Californians,” said Nicole Elliott, senior advisor on cannabis to Governor Newsom. “As we work to safely reopen our economy, leading with equity across all sectors will ensure a just recovery and further our commitment to create a truly diverse legal industry. These efforts stand as a testament to our values as a state, and I applaud the work being done by these jurisdictions as they thoughtfully embrace this challenge.”

The funds are meant to be used by the rewarded jurisdictions to develop their cannabis equity programs and assist their equity applicants and licensees by providing low/no-interest loans or grants, reduced licensing fees or waived fees, and technical assistance.

“The California Cannabis Equity Grant that I received from the City of Oakland was one of the best things to happen to my company. I was able to hire drivers and sales representative,” said Jessie Grundy, CEO of Green Peakz, a cannabis business in Oakland. “California investing in Californians is key to equity work. Thank you to the team at GO-Biz for doing more than just helping us get licenses, but also investing in equity companies being successful.”

Other cities that received funding for their Cannabis Equity Applicants/Licensees include:

Oakland — $2.4 million

Los Angeles — $2 million

Long Beach — $1.2 million

Modesto — $75,000

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