California approves statewide social equity program for cannabis industry

California marijuana social equity, California approves statewide social equity program for cannabis industry

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation this week that will set up a state-run program aimed at widening participation among minorities and economically disadvantaged individuals in the marijuana industry, either as business owners or employees.

Senate Bill 1294, sponsored by Sen. Steven Bradford, a Democrat from Gardena, will set up a state program to assist municipalities with equity ordinances in providing loans, grants and technical assistance to would-be entrepreneurs and employees. Lawmakers have allotted $10 million for the assistance, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Here are some of the bill’s provisions:

  • Develop with experts a model equity ordinance that will be published on the California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s website by July 1, 2019.
  • Serve as a point of contact for local equity programs and assist in the administration and in raising capital for those programs. Several municipalities in California already have social equity programs for the marijuana industry.
  • Provide loans or grants to local equity applicants or licensees for startup and ongoing costs, such as rent, application and licensing fees, equipment, capital improvements and workforce training.
  • Provide direct technical assistance to local equity applicants and licensees.

The bill stipulates that the Legislature’s intent is to “ensure that persons most harmed by cannabis criminalization and poverty be offered assistance to enter the multibillion-dollar industry as entrepreneurs or as employees with high-quality, well-paying jobs.”

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9 comments on “California approves statewide social equity program for cannabis industry
  1. George Bianchini on

    “to ensure that persons most harmed by cannabis criminalization and poverty be offered assistance ”
    Great news, I think that qualifies most pre prop 64 vendors, clubs and dispensaries. Since the criminalization (prop 64) of cannabis, many of us have discovered poverty due to onerous regulations that cannot be met.
    This may be similar to what Oakland Ca. is doing. Except there you must be a drug crime criminal. This may have been a way to keep the money local. I believe there’s is just a grant, not a loan. This way no further money needs to be spent on getting paid back.
    This such a great idea! Maybe we could raise the tax on cannabis to 25% at retail from 15%. We would have more money to give away. Money for nothing and drugs for free.
    Only in America!

  2. Pat on

    You know..You have to love the ca. state legislature ( Almost as good as the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee re: Kavanaugh..). So, the “pieces of garbage” that put MACMRSA together, passed it; and the regulators that are attempting to implement it, never thought for one moment that the vast majority of the folks involved in the cannabis business are those that are now being addressed in this Senate Bill? ( before it became “completely legit” at the state level ) Had no clue about, or any knowledge about the community that SB 1294 is NOW allegedly addressing? The original risk takers and the most vulnerable of the bunch. The legislature had no clue?? Minorities/Veterans/People of modest means,etc. And, this is NOW somehow a benevolent act? Why wasn’t this group made the PRIORITY group as it relates opportunity around this issue? As the law was being promulgated? Well, the answer is that the legislature wanted a pay to play scheme whose fee structure had not much to do with public/environmental health/public safety/public welfare. It had everything to do with how much the state and their crony friends could make. That’s it. It’s a club. State law doesn’t cater to clubs. But, this one does. Now, that all these rich ( and out of stater’s are allowed to participate as well ) have made their connections, have a HUGE head start on these yet to apply disadvantaged participants… How does the legislature expect these hopefuls to compete? It’s already vastly unfair as it is. The state was acutely aware of this EEO concern while drafting the law, but chose to ignore it. Didn’t suit them or their crony criminal associates. So again,who does the state think think they’re still trying to fool? The advent SB 1294 all rings hollow to me. It’s a feeble attempt to appear “concerned” about the “99%.” A lot of these 99% got totally ( monetarily/family wise/job wise,etc.. ) fu**ed with MACMRSA’S passage. And, somehow SB 1294 is going to solve the dilemma? Not even a drop in the bucket close.

    To the legislator’s, their supporters and the many P.O.S. crony S.O.B.’s that got “licensed” to participate in the cannabis sphere: To the hell with you all. The legislator’s and the regulators still don’t know how to do their jobs around this. Yet, they’re getting paid and current licensee’s are getting paid while breaking the law, with no consequences. So long as the prices stay jacked, it’s all good.

      • Pat on

        Has nothing to do with party affiliation. Used a current event as an illustration. Happened to be Republican inspired. It’s the dynamic. Not the party. You’re a hip-shooter by trade??

  3. Charle Atkins on

    I agree that Social Equity Applicants should have been the first to be licensed ( in conjunction with their corporate sponsors, that part is unavoidable).
    To this day Social Equity Applicants are not receiving the help they need. The number of those who are actually being helped in establishing their own businesses is extremely and pathetically low.
    On another, but equally important issue, big money businesses are being allowed to cheat and grow more than was originally proposed. They’re buying more licenses to cheat and grow many more acres of cannabis. This is very unfair to the small farmers. These are two serious issues that need to be corrected and made right, NOW.
    California needs to become the prime example of what a fair, thriving and well regulated cannabis industry looks like for all the other states to strive to imitate.

  4. dale a soto on

    im a tier 1 candidate. i know that for sure. i want my equity. i dont have any corporate sponsors. i dont know where to go from here. please help. thanks.

    • The Emerald Man on

      Ha! Get off your a** & do some research/work into figuring out the requirements & process. Read the bills & statutes. It’s called starting a business like in 90% of other industries. No amount of equity assistance is going to help you if you’re a bad businessman. Driving around selling eighths is easy, and running a legitimate business requires work. It’s hard, even if it’s weed. So good luck to you, I did the work and put the time in. Or pay some consultant 100K to do it for you.

  5. izzy on

    Just the now-common phrase “cannabis industry” evokes unpleasant resonances.
    Recall what happened when conventional medicine became an “industry”.
    Even if illegal, it was more honest as a weed. Illegal status and associated risk made the price high. Now governments big and small (at least those in the game) are trying to keep it up there with a hodgepodge of regulations, fees and fines. We can only be thankful tomatoes didn’t start out on the wrong side of the law. Such is progress.

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