The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) announced it has awarded almost $100 million in grant funding through its Local Jurisdiction Assistance Grant Program. 

The ultimate goal of the money is to provide funding for cities and counties to turn the high number of provisional cannabis licenses across the state into annual licenses. The DCC noted it recognized that many of the companies hit by the lack of an annual permit are small, equity, and legacy cannabis businesses. 

“The local jurisdictions receiving grants incorporated innovative approaches to meet the specific needs of their license communities, which is exactly what we were hoping for when developing this program,” said DCC Director Nicole Elliott. “Significant funding is being directed to process improvements and environmental assessments, both of which will help the state and local governments achieve short- and long-term goals.”

The state already knew where the money was going when the 17 recipients were announced.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles was the biggest winner. The city received a total of $22,312,360. Just under $10 million of that was the base funding, and then cities with social equity programs were eligible for additional funds. L.A. received an additional $12,400,122.

The city told the state it will hire additional personnel to assist licensees with completing locally-administered processes to achieve annual licenses. This will include support like double-checking the documents and help with the prep work on important stuff including the environmental paperwork that goes with the impact report and all the other hoops. 

In the process, the city will update its environmental assessment so they don’t have to throw the book at someone if there is an incident. They can take more of a ministerial approach and guide applicants down the correct path in the process.

The city will also use grant funds to establish new positions dedicated to California Environmental Quality Act reviews and local annual licensing processes. Finally, they’ll use some of the money to meet the administrative mandates of the grant program.

Long Beach

Other big local winners included Long Beach. The city received $3,934,773 in funding. Long Beach plans to use a lot of the money to do the same things L.A. is doing in hopes of getting more annual permits to the finish line. Additionally, the city will use a portion of the money for website design, technology improvements, and training to assist applicants. The goal with all of Long Beach’s planned spending is to strengthen communication. 


Mendocino County was the second biggest winner after L.A., and thankfully for the small farmers devastated over the last year, they will receive direct funding opportunities that are meant to help keep the legacy market afloat. Mendo received $17,586,406. $7,611,370 of that money was the base funding while the other $10 million came from the ancillary funding the county qualified for thanks to its social equity program.


Humboldt County is also taking a unique approach with its allotted funds with plans to conduct a hydrologic assessment of the country’s 12 watersheds. The report will identify baseline groundwater supply while providing insight into how much water cannabis uses locally. The numbers the report produces will provide a critical environmental data point for regulators moving forward. 

The Rules

The grantees also had a few rules going into the application process. They knew the money could not be used for things like costs or fees related to litigation, payment of fines or other penalties incurred for violations of environmental laws and regulations, application fees unrelated to CEQA compliance and review, or to replace money that they had already allotted through the municipality or county for things like paying support staff. 

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