California Officials Award More Than $50 Million in Marijuana Tax-Funded Community Reinvestment Grants

California officials have awarded more than $50 million in community reinvestment grants funded by marijuana taxes, the state announced Thursday.

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) said the funds are being distributed to 31 different local health departments and nonprofit community organizations that support economic and social development in areas disproportionately affected by the war against the drugs.

This marks the fifth consecutive year that the office has provided grant funding. And cannabis tax dollars supporting the program are up by about $15 million compared to last year.

The funds will be used to support initiatives such as job placement, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, legal services and links to health care.

Here are some examples of the organizations that are receiving the grants:

  • San Francisco Bay Goodwill: $2,998,487.50
  • Los Angeles Conservation Corps: $1,933,467.60
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: $3,000,000.00
  • Rare Act: $3,000,000.00
  • Monterey County Health Department: $3,000,000.00
  • Silicon Valley Pro Bono Project: $600,000.00

GO-Biz said that they “anticipate issuing our next grant application in August 2023.”

Funding levels for the program have steadily increased year over year. In 2021, for example, the state awarded about $29 million in grants to 58 nonprofit organizations through the CalCRG program. The initiative was first announced in April 2020.

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Meanwhile, the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) also recently awarded nearly $20 million in research grants, funded by marijuana tax revenue, to 16 academic institutions to conduct studies on cannabis, including cannabinoids. novelties such as delta-8 THC and the genetics of “legacy” strains of the state.

DCC previously announced in February that it would launch a first-of-its-kind grant program to help cities and counties establish local cannabis business license programs to address unmet consumer demand and help curb the illicit market.

Also that month, California officials announced they had awarded $15 million in grants to support local efforts to promote equity in the marijuana industry. GO-Biz distributed the funds to 16 cities and counties across the state through the Cannabis Equity Grant Program for Local Jurisdictions. Applications opened for the program late last year.

California is also taking steps to expand its marijuana market beyond state lines, and regulators recently requested a formal opinion from the state attorney general’s office on whether allowing interstate commerce of marijuana would put the state at “high risk.” significant” of federal action.

DCC’s request for guidance is a key step that could eventually trigger a law the governor signed last year that empowers him to enter into agreements with other legal states to import and export marijuana products.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) also said last year that he wants marijuana to be legalized at the federal level, in part so that cannabis growers in his state can “legally supply the rest of the nation.”

A state task force also officially recommended that the legislature pass reparations legislation to compensate some two million black Americans totaling nearly $228 billion for racially disproportionate damages that resulted from the state’s drug war in the course of half a century. .

Meanwhile, a California bill to legalize possession of certain psychedelics and make the substances easier to use passed the Senate on Thursday and went to the Assembly for consideration.

Maryland officials release draft marijuana rules to prepare for legalization this summer

Photo courtesy of the California State Fair.

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