by: Amber Coakley
Posted: Feb 19, 2023 / 10:15 AM PST
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SAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego said Thursday it was awarded a statewide grant to promote equity in the local cannabis industry.
More than $880,000 in funding, granted by the Governor of California’s Office of Business and Economic Development, will be used to help support local residents seeking to enter the legal cannabis industry. The city said the grant will help cover permits, license fees and other start-up property costs.
San Diego was among 16 cities across California to to receive the award. The city said the combined total of $15 million in grants was funded through tax revenue generated from statewide recreational cannabis sales.
“The historical enforcement of drug laws produced profound disparities in business ownership, wage earnings and mass incarceration within the criminal justice system for African American/Black, Latino and Native American/Indigenous communities,” said Kim Desmond, the City’s Chief of Race and Equity. “An acknowledgment of historic institutional racism and systemic inequity is key to understanding disparities in the cannabis industry.”
The money, which the city has called the “GO-Biz” funds, will be dispersed locally. Officials say it supports the state’s effort to advance economic justice for populations and communities harmed by cannabis prohibition.
“Receiving this critical funding source is vital to jump-starting our Cannabis Equity Program,” said the San Diego’s Cannabis Business Division Deputy Director Lara Gates. “These dollars will provide a solid foundation for our initial cannabis equity applicants to get a strong foothold in the legal cannabis market.”
More information about the Cannabis Equity Program can be found here.
If you would like to speak to someone directly about the program, the city has directed residents to contact Mike Condon by email at PDS.LongRangePlanning@sdcounty.ca.gov or phone at (858) 505-6677.