California’s cannabis department has awarded nearly $100 million in funding to support local marijuana markets through the Local Jurisdiction Assistance Grant Program.
Seventeen cities and counties with a disproportionate number of provisional marijuana licenses, rather than full-year licenses, were awarded grant funding in amounts ranging from $400,000 to $22,000,000, according to a recent announcement from the Department of Cannabis Control.
California officially opened applications for the program In October.
Created to facilitate the transition of cannabis operators into licensure, provisional licenses provide cannabis businesses with a route to enter and remain in the legal market while completing local permitting processes and California Environmental Quality Act requirements.
The temporary licensing category was set to expire on Jan.1, however, it was extended last year.
“The local jurisdictions receiving grants incorporated innovative approaches to meet the specific needs of their license communities, which is exactly what we were hoping for when developing this program,” DCC Director Nicole Elliott said. “Significant funding is being directed to process improvements and environmental assessments, both of which will help the state and local governments achieve short- and long-term goals.”
Now that grant agreements have been distributed to all jurisdictions, funds will be distributed once signed contracts are returned to the cannabis department.
According to regulators, these are the three primary purposes for the funding:
- Additional staffing to process workloads associated with transitioning businesses into the regulated market.
- IT systems poised to set streamlined license processing.
- Finalization of environmental assessments and new initiatives for water protection and renewable energy.
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