The state has issued $100 million in funding assistance to help bolster legal marijuana businesses in California, an effort aimed to speed up license permitting in areas where it’s stalled.
The Department of Cannabis Control, managed by state officials, designated the funds be sent to 17 cities and counties where there are a disparate number of provisional marijuana business licenses (as opposed to full year licenses). As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, those provision licenses were intended to help quickly prop up the adult-use market, but the entire category was set to expire Jan. 1, 2022. That deadline has since been extended, allowing more municipalities time to kick-start the permitting process, while also meeting stringent environmental requirements.
The $100 million in grant money is intended to further accelerate progress – in turn squeezing out black market operators. The thinking goes that the more competitive, state-legal operations there are in a district, the fewer opportunities there will be for underground pot purveyors.
Applications to receive money through the Local Jurisdiction Assistance Grant Program, opened four months ago. Municipalities that were awarded the additional funding were those that had significant license processing backlogs. Funding is also available to implement social equity programs.
Goals for funding were outlined as followed:
- Hire or designate additional staff to help wade through the sizable workloads necessary to transition businesses into a well-regulated local market.
- Create streamlined license processing with dedicated IT systems.
- Complete thorough environmental assessments to ensure water is protected and energy is renewable.