Colorado Governor Jared Polis and the state government have introduced a new Cannabis Loan Fund for social equity licensed cannabis operators.
The program will provide loans ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 to aid licensed social equity cannabis operators with real estate expenses, equipment costs, facility renovations or expansions, or to use as working capital. Loans will have favorable and manageable terms based on borrower needs, according to a news release.
The loans are made possible through a partnership between Colorado’s Cannabis Business Office, within the state’s Office of Economic Development & International Trade, and NuProject, a cannabis industry lender dedicated to economically and socially disadvantaged businesses.
The Cannabis Business Loan Program will be managed by both the state’s CBO and NuProject, which made an initial $1 million investment. The program will be managed as a revolving loan fund, with all interest paid on loans reinvested back into the fund, which is expected to lend $2.9 million over the next 10 years, according to the release.
“This landmark loan program will create and retain 239 good-paying jobs and promote equity in the cannabis industry by providing growing businesses access to funding,” Gov Polis said. “I am committed to saving small businesses money and ensuring our state remains a great place to start and run a business in every industry. Thank you to NuProject for partnering with Colorado on this exciting milestone and working to support innovation in Colorado’s cannabis industry.”
NuProject, which is based in Portland, Oregon, also provides mentorship and educational assistance to operators preparing for loan applications, according to the release.
“NuProject is committed to redirecting the typical flow of financing so that small business owners in the cannabis industry, especially those who’ve been historically excluded from access to capital, can access the resources they need to grow their businesses,” NuProject CEO Jeannette Ward Horton said. “When cannabis business owners have access to financial support and the know-how to put that funding to work, they can run better businesses and have the opportunity to build generational wealth through the cannabis industry.”