California State Senator Steve Bradford is Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus and the Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety. (courtesy photo)


SACRAMENTO – The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), in partnership with the Bureau of Cannabis Control, today announced a $15 million grant award through the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions. This program seeks to advance economic justice for populations and communities–disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition–by providing funding to local jurisdictions that are committed to promoting equity in the legal cannabis marketplace and eliminating barriers to entering this industry.

The California Cannabis Equity Act (SB 1294, Statutes of 2018, Chapter 794) created this program and was authored by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), who issued the following statement:

“I authored SB 1294 to respond to the inequity and injustice in a growing cannabis industry that excluded those most impacted by the systemic racism of the ‘war on drugs,’ which devastated the lives of millions of people of color. Cannabis equity grants help to reverse those injustices. It is great to see such massive interest in the program and the power of its continued success. This grant program must be one tool of many if we want to achieve equity.

But we cannot rest on our laurels. Our state must continue to expand equity and opportunities in this industry. We must assist local equity applicants with licensing fee waivers using a framework similar to one I created in 2019, given the hurdles those fees pose to individuals. This year, I introduced legislation and am seeking budget appropriations to finally fund that initiative and deliver relief to those most impacted by these fees.”

The grant awards announced today build upon the $30 million in cannabis equity funding awarded previously.