Cannabis Social Equity Grants Now Available

You have until tomorrow to apply for a Cannabis Social Equity Grant from the City of Portland. Now, this doesn’t mean you can get free money to have an ice cream social with your friends, except swapping out the ice cream with cannabis. (But that’s a really good idea, right, City of Portland?)

These grants are taken from the $700,000 of cannabis taxes the City of Portland has earmarked for Cannabis Social Equity Grants, and come from some of the 3 percent city tax you pay every time you visit a local dispensary and make a purchase as a non-OMMP cardholder.

Ballot Measure 29-180 established that a portion of these taxes needs to be allocated for the following:

“Support for neighborhood small businesses, especially women-owned and minority-owned businesses, including but not limited to business incubator programs, management training, and job training opportunities; and providing economic opportunity and education to communities disproportionately-impacted by cannabis prohibition.”

These are all good things, even if they don’t involve the aforementioned cannabis social for me and 20 of my jazz-tobacco-toking friends.

Portland Prosper will administer $210,000 of the money to provide industry support and technical assistance to minority-owned cannabis businesses.

The remaining $490,000 is set aside for applicants who may request funding for projects and programs ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 in the following priority areas:

• Record clearing and expungement
• Workforce development
• Re-entry housing services

If you have experience or expertise in one of the priority areas, foster interconnected communities, and provide multicultural and community-specific engagement, you should apply. Non-profit and for-profit entities of any size are encouraged to apply.

Follow this link to download the 2019 Cannabis Social Equity Grants announcement and application.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies and His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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