California Governor Proposes $100 Mil Grant to Ease Marijuana Licensing

CA Gov weed laws

The marijuana legalization remains a contentious topic but there are many other sides where the government has been benefiting the people associated with the industry in some or the other way. The government is now encouraging and assisting marijuana retailers and growers. For instance, Gavin Newsome, the Governor of California has plans to introduce a trailer bill that will allow regulators to issue provisional cannabis permits for 6 more months – until the 30th of June. This will make it easier to get a medical marijuana business license in California.

This action should solve the growing problem connected to provisional licenses, which will have to get converted to permanent licenses given annually at some point. This process has been delayed for many years because of the red tape practices of the government, complex environmental regulations, and varying industry ordinances on the different locales.

California’s budget proposal 2021

For its 2021-2022 State Budget, Governor Newsom has submitted a $227.2 billion fiscal blueprint that includes immediate funding provisions for COVID-19 responses and relief efforts where the residents of California need it most. The budget also includes investments for an inclusive, broad-based, and equitable economic recovery.

With most efforts going into fighting the virus, we hope to see the pandemic come to an end. To prepare the state, Newsom has prioritized key actions to help California residents and businesses who are most affected by the pandemic. For this, he proposed setting aside $372 million to hasten the vaccinations across the various counties.

This will boost the “all-hands-on-deck” approach of California to safe and speedy vaccine distribution. Aside from this, the budget also includes a $14 billion investment in the economic recovery of the state to give relief to residents who need the most assistance, those who face eviction or lost their jobs, and small businesses. The budget also includes advanced direct cash assistance to millions of California residents through the Golden State Stimulus.

The Governor also announced that the state budget includes a $100 million grant to relieve a bureaucratic deadlock that has left marijuana companies with provisional business licenses. This is the most interesting aspect of the budget for those who want to learn how to get a California marijuana license.

Much-needed funding

Unless the provisional licensing issue gets resolved, over 80% of California’s marijuana business licenses will be in danger of (temporarily) closing in 2022. Getting a California marijuana manufacturing license is already hard enough without this issue. But right now, the regulators of the state don’t have enough legal power to extend these licenses after the 31st of December. The $100 million allotted budget will come in the form of grant money that would get distributed to counties and cities. It will assist the local officials in processing the backlog of provisional licenses that need the approval to get the mandatory yearly permit.

The main objective of this grant funding is to serve the local governments and a big part of the provisional license population, including several equity operators and small businesses. The government has a commitment to maintaining stability across the supply chain of the cannabis industry, supporting local partners, and transitioning provisional licenses into yearly licenses without having to sacrifice the environmental commitments of the state.

Dividing the money

Before potential business owners understand how to get a license to sell marijuana in California, they must first check the current situation of the industry. Under the new proposal, the allotted budget will go to 3 local government categories. 25% will go to the top 8 jurisdictions home to the most provisionally licensed cultivation permits as of May 5.

25% will go to the top 8 jurisdictions with the most provisionally licensed distributors, manufacturers, microbusinesses, retailers, and testing labs as of May 5. 50% will go to any of the top 8 jurisdictions with the most provisionally licensed businesses that have received state grant money to support social equity programs. 

The amount of money each county or city would receive would get broken down by the “proportionate share of their entire provisional license population.” This coincides with the consolidation of the 3 marijuana regulatory agencies of the state into a new oversight bureaucracy. That agency will launch on the 1st of July and will be in charge of overseeing the distribution and use of the grant funding. 

Provisional conditions for licensing

Local governments must use the $100 million grant funding to process marijuana business licenses in California and to provide technical support to license applicants. They must also use the money for environmental-control-related mitigation measures or other official uses that further the program’s intent.

The provisional marijuana dispensary license in California extension also comes with its own conditions. For one, California marijuana regulators should make sure that cannabis businesses all comply with specific environmental rules. Specify the kind of progress companies should make toward a yearly permit to maintain their provisional licenses. Take away the provisional date of expiration if the applicant continues to make measurable progress toward achieving yearly licensure.

Lindsay Robinson, the executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, has praised Governor Newsom. According to Robinson, she particularly appreciates the proposal to extend provisional cannabis licenses. To Robinson, this means that companies with provisional licenses must have a reliable and stable way of maintaining their operations while they transition into the marketplace with new regulations.

Who will receive Marijuana Licensing money?

Based on the budget analysis, the counties and cities that will most likely receive grant funding include Commerce, Adelanto, Desert Hot Springs, Lake County, Humboldt County, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Monterey County, Mendocino County, Oakland, Nevada County, San Diego, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Trinity County, and Sonoma County.

Also, the budget proposal calls for the hiring of a state deputy director of equity and its inclusion as part of the DCC staff. The person hired will assess and develop work programs and best practices to achieve social equity. In addition, the budget proposal also suggests that $9 million go to a new 3-year pilot program within the Department of Food and Agriculture of California. This will focus on incorporating cannabis into a more sustainable and broader agricultural program. We can help with all your cannabis packaging needs.

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