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California starts accepting cannabis social equity grant apps from cities and counties

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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California state cannabis regulators have revealed that they are now accepting grant applications from various cities and counties that are launching social equity programs for local cannabis businesses.

A total of $10 million is being awarded to qualifying jurisdictions by the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC). All of the funds will have been bestowed upon applicants by June 30.

Why? The aim of this latest move by California state cannabis regulators is to mend social harm caused by cannabis prohibition and the failed War on Drugs. By accepting social equity grant applications from cities and counties, minority groups and individuals victimized by cannabis prohibition throughout the “Golden State” can get involved in the burgeoning cannabis space.

According to a recent BCC news release, qualifying jurisdictions will be allowed to apply for a minimum grant of $100,000.

Currently, four cities in California have initiated social equity programs. They are Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and San Francisco.

Applications must be submitted to the BCC by April 1.

Recreational cannabis in California is bringing in billions of dollars

It’s been an entire year since recreational cannabis became legal in California.

Last year, the state claimed to have pulled in $1.2 billion from recreational cannabis sales. This figure is not including medical cannabis sales since those sales are not subject to sales tax.

By 2022, this figure could swell to $6.5 billion. 

“As the state works through its ‘growing pains’ with respect to licensing procedures and as final regulations are implemented, we expect an acceleration in revenue growth for 2019 and beyond to reach its full potential of $6.5 billion by 2022,” Karnes told Benzinga.

More cannabis retailers are setting up shop in California

During the first year of legal recreational cannabis sales in California, flowers were the bestselling category of products statewide.

In fact, they accounted for 44 percent of all sales. Cartridges fell slightly behind at 23 percent, extracts at 13 percent and edibles at 11 percent.

In the fourth quarter, approximately 650 licensed retail locations were scattered around the state. Compare this to the 450 licensed cannabis retail locations that were peppered around the densely populated U.S. State in the third quarter and it’s indicative of the rate at which California’s cannabis industry is growing.

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California starts accepting cannabis social equity grant apps from cities and counties