CA, NM offering financial support to social equity marijuana companies

California and New Mexico will be offering financial support to qualifying social equity marijuana businesses, government officials in both states said this week.

The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) announced proposed emergency regulations that would grant license-fee waivers to social equity marijuana entrepreneurs who were affected by the war on drugs, according to a news release.

The move was instigated by the state Legislature earlier this year via Senate Bill 166, and lawmakers earmarked $30 million for the waivers.

The DCC will begin accepting fee waiver requests on New Year’s Day.

“These waivers aim to address this challenge for those who need the most financial support, and this program reflects California’s continued efforts to create meaningful pathways to licensure for those most impacted” by the war on drugs, DCC Director Nicole Elliott said in a statement.

Meanwhile, New Mexico will dole out business loans of up to $250,000 for microbusinesses that also were affected by the war on drugs, the Associated Press reported.

The state’s Regulation and Licensing Department said the New Mexico loan program will launch in February with:

  • $5 million lines of credit for qualifying businesses.
  • An expected average loan size of roughly $100,000.
  • Loan terms of five years and interest rates of 2%-3%.

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However, the only companies that may apply for the loans will be “small-scale” operations that are permitted to grow only up to 200 plants and sell from one retail location, akin to craft breweries or vineyards, the Associated Press reported.

New Mexico’s recreational marijuana market is slated to launch in April.