New Jersey Announces New Cannabis Social Equity Grant Program

New Jersey Announces New Cannabis Social Equity Grant Program
HIghtimes main

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) last week announced the creation of a grant program to help small businesses with the costs associated with launching an enterprise in the state’s regulated cannabis industry. Known as the Cannabis Equity Grant Program, the new initiative will distribute up to $10 million in grants, with the majority earmarked for social equity applicants. The new grant program was approved by a unanimous vote by the NJEDA board at its monthly meeting last week. In a statement, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the grants will help level the playing field for entrepreneurs from underserved communities to participate in the new economy for recreational marijuana, which was legalized following the passage of a statewide referendum in 2020. “My Administration is doubling its efforts to cultivate small businesses in burgeoning industries with massive untapped potential,” said Murphy. “The establishment of the Cannabis Equity Grant Program will help aspiring small business owners meet start-up expenses in a pivotal sector within our state’s ever-growing economy. Most importantly, the program will erode considerable barriers to access for communities of color, which this program will help to equip with the resources they need to not just enter, but thrive, in this exciting new industry.” The program authorizes up to $10 million in grants to small businesses, including $6 million reserved for cannabis social equity applicants, such as those with past convictions for cannabis-related offenses and residents of economically disadvantaged areas. The pilot grant program was authorized by legislation sponsored by Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Assembly Budget Committee Chairwoman Eliana Pintor Marin and signed into law by Murphy in June. “This program can have a positive impact by supporting diversity in New Jersey’s cannabis industry during its formative stages,” Scutari said in a statement. “As the market continues its…

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Source : New Jersey Announces New Cannabis Social Equity Grant Program

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