California provides another $30 million for marijuana social equity programs

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California awarded an additional $30 million to 16 different cities and counties to bolster social equity programs, which are designed to get victims of the war on drugs more directly involved in the legal cannabis industry.

The new grant money is on top of $10 million disbursed by the state last fall for social equity programs.

The lion’s share of the new funding – nearly $29 million – went to local governments that already have social equity programs in place, including Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

Oakland was the top recipient, with $6.5 million. Mendocino County was at the bottom, with $2.2 million.

At least $23 million of that funding pool will go directly to qualified social equity businesses in the form of loans or grants, according to a news release from the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Much of the funding is earmarked for “small business support services,” according to the release.

Those services include “technical assistance to individuals, reduced licensing fees or waived fees, assistance in recruitment, training and retention of a qualified and diverse workforce, and business resilience such as emergency preparedness.”

The other recipients each received $150,000 or less to help develop social equity programs. Those localities include Clearlake, Coachella, Palm Springs, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Stockton as well as Lake, Monterey and Nevada counties.