The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is expanding its access to legal cannabis in local jurisdictions throughout the state, the department announced.
DCC issued revised guidelines for Phase II of its Local Jurisdiction Retail Access Grant program, which provides funding for local jurisdictions in California to establish legal cannabis retail licensing programs.
The revised guidelines expand the LJRAG program to allow more than 300 counties and cities in California to apply for Phase II grant funding for the issuance of retail cannabis licenses. Furthermore, the revised guidelines also double the grant amounts to $150,000 per eligible retailer license and $300,000 per eligible equity retailer license. The previous grant amounts were $75,000 and $150,000, respectively.
Eligible applicants for LJRAG Phase II grant funding are local jurisdictions that have a plan to develop and implement a cannabis retail licensing program; have issued one or more cannabis retail licenses to cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction; and did not have a cannabis retail licensing program in place prior to July 1, 2022, according to DCC.
A total of $15 million in grant funding will be available in Phase II. Phase I of DCC’s LJRAG program awarded $4.1 million in grant funding to 18 counties and cities throughout California.
Local jurisdictions are eligible to apply for Phase II of LJRAG program funding regardless of whether they participated in Phase I, according to DCC.
“There are still many locations throughout the state where cannabis usage is notable, but existing consumers do not have convenient access to legal retail cannabis,” DCC Director Nicole Elliott said in a news release. “We know that cannabis consumers often make purchasing choices based on convenience, so sufficient access to legal retail reinforces extremely important consumer safeguards.”