DIRECT GRANTS PROGRAM
The City of Long Beach’s Cannabis Equity Direct Grants Program utilizes funding from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO Biz) to provide direct grants and fee waivers to Long Beach’s cannabis equity entrepreneurs.
Grant Program Overview
To receive grant funds, Equity Applicants must complete a grant application and undergo a business verification process. Grant amounts are disbursed at four milestones during the business license process that will assist Equity Applicants in starting a sustainable cannabis business. If an Equity Applicant meets the requirements of all milestones, they will be eligible to receive a grant depending upon the type of cannabis business and size (square footage) of the cannabis facility.
To apply for a grant, you must:
- Qualify as an Equity Applicant – To qualify as an Equity Applicant, you must have received a Cannabis Social Equity Program Verification Letter issued by the Office of Cannabis Oversight (OCO) or Economic Development Department. For more information on how to qualify, please click here.
- Submit the Demographic Questionnaire – After qualifying as an equity applicant, you must complete the Cannabis Equity Program Demographic Questionnaire. The link to the questionnaire is provided in the verification letter. Please contact us if you have any questions.
- Submit all Required Documents - Each milestone requires supporting documentation. To see which documents are required for your milestone, please review the Direct Grants Policies and Procedures.
Direct Grant Milestones
Direct grants will be awarded for each milestone of the business license process completed by an equity applicant. Recognizing that every cannabis business is different, the amount of grant funding will be dependent upon the type of cannabis activity being conducted and the size of the cannabis facility.
For microbusinesses, grant funds will be issued for each separate cannabis activity occurring at the business location.
|Direct Grant Milestone||Grant Amount Available|
|Milestone #1: Securing Your Business Location||Contingent on business plan, LOI/lease terms, location and zoning requirements|
|Milestone #2: Drawing Up Plans||Dependent upon business operation and size*|
|Milestone #3: Starting Construction||Dependent upon business operation and size*|
|Milestone #4: Opening Your Business||Dependent upon business operation and size*|
|Total Possible Grant Funding||Dependent upon business operation and size*|
*Review the Direct Grant Funding Amounts Matrix for exact amounts for your business
PLEASE NOTE: The City of Long Beach reserves the right to adjust or change direct grant milestones and grant amounts at any time to ensure that grant funds are continuously available in the areas of most need. Any changes to the grant milestones will be posted on this webpage.
Fee waivers are disbursed during the business license process to offset some of the costs of licensing and permitting.
To receive fee waivers, Equity Applicants must complete a grant application and provide invoices/receipts for fees that need to be paid using grant funds. An Equity Grant Assessment is not required for fee waiver Milestones #1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, or 2B.
|Milestone||Fee Description||Fee Waiver Amount|
|Milestone #1A||Building and Zoning Review Fees||$56.30*|
|Milestone #1B||Administrative Use Permit Fees||$4,719.60*|
|Milestone #1C||Conditional Use Permit Fees||$9,072.00*|
|Milestone #2A||Cannabis Facility Consultation Fee||$766.80|
|Milestone #2B||Plan Check Fees||Dependent upon business operation and size*|
|Permitting Fees||Dependent upon business operation and size*|
|Categorical Exception Fees||Dependent upon business operation and size*|
*Fees are charged for each business activity/license at the facility
Supplemental Grant Opportunity
The Cannabis Reimbursement Grant is intended to reimburse equity businesses for costs associated with opening a cannabis business. Eligible applicants include equity businesses who are currently in the Department Reviews milestone of the cannabis business licensing process. Applicants are eligible for up to $60,000 in grant funding per equity business.
Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until September 30, 2023, at 11:59 pm. Incomplete or late grant applications will not be accepted.
This grant funding opportunity does not affect an equity applicant's ability to apply for grant funding as part of the Direct Grants Milestone program.
Grant Application Process
A completed grant application will be reviewed by staff from the Cannabis Equity Program Team in the Economic Development Department and scored according to the Equity Grant Assessment. Given the limited amount of grant funds, grants will be issued on a first come first served basis and grant applications must also receive a minimum score of 60 out of 100 points on the Equity Grant Assessment. If a grant application does not score 60 points or higher, feedback will be provided, and the Applicant can resubmit their grant application to improve their score.
A completed grant application will be required for all grant milestones; however, an Equity Grant Assessment is not required for fee waiver Milestones #1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, or 2B.
The documents that will be reviewed as part of the Equity Grant Assessment include the following:
- Equity Applicant resume or answers to experience questions
- Partner(s) resume or answers to experience questions
- Updated Business Plan
- Business Entity Documents
- Written explanation of how funding will be used
Apply For A Direct Grant
Equity Applicants that have completed one or more direct grant milestones may submit a Cannabis Social Equity Direct Grants Application by mail or email to the Office of Cannabis Oversight.
Economic Development Department
Cannabis Equity Program
411 W. Ocean Blvd., 10th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Forms and Applications:
Frequently Asked Questions
If I am already in the licensing process, will I be eligible for the prior grant milestones and amounts?
If you had already met the requirements for a grant milestone prior to the new grant amounts on April 1, the City will continue to issue a grant for the previous amount.
For example, if you had already submitted a business license application and it is under review by staff prior to April 1, but it does not get approved until after April 1, the City will issue a grant for the prior funding amount of $100,000.
Moving forward, all future grant milestones will be issued according to the current grant structure.
Each business is unique in their size and operation. Grant funds will be issued depending upon the size (square footage) of the cannabis business and the type of activity being conducted at the facility. Some facilities may cost more than others. Not all equity applicants will receive the same amount of grant funding.
The grant funds should only be used to offset a portion of the costs to open a cannabis business and will not be enough to cover all costs to open and operate a cannabis business.