S.F. cannabis industry receives grant to promote equity

Businesses can use the grants for rent, legal assistance, accounting services and more

By Eli Walsh

Bay City News Foundation

The city of San Francisco has received a $4.5 million state grant to promote equity within the city’s cannabis industry, city officials said Friday.

The grant from the state’s Office of Business and Economic Development will support the Equity Grant Program within San Francisco’s Office of Cannabis, according to city officials.

The grant program has issued more than $5.5 million to more than 50 businesses since the city launched it in February 2021. Roughly 65 percent of past grant recipients are people of color, according to the city.

“From a historical lens, the Equity Grant Program represents government proactively addressing drug policies that have harmed our communities,” Office of Cannabis Director Nikesh Patel said in a statement. “We hear from social equity applicants just how powerful these grants are to advance their businesses.”

Grant recipients can use their funds, with awards ranging from $50,000 to $150,000, to reimburse or advance expenses like legal assistance, regulatory compliance, rent and accounting services.

According to city officials, $2 million in new cannabis equity grants will be made available in May.

Information about applying for a cannabis business grant can be found on the city’s website at https://sf.gov/step-by

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