NJEDA Announces the Cannabis Equity Grant Program
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced the creation of the Cannabis Equity Grant Program, aimed at helping start-ups in the state develop with assistance for early-stage expenses and technical training.
$10 million will be made available in the initial pilot program, with 60 percent of that amount made available to qualifying social equity applicants, like those who have previous cannabis convictions or live in economically disadvantaged areas. Economically disadvantaged areas are defined by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) as zip codes that meet certain socioeconomic criteria. These businesses can receive up to $250,000 to help with certain start-up expenses like regulatory fees, rental expenses, utilities, and wages.
Qualifications for these businesses include holding a conditional cannabis license, business formation after March 2020, and employing 50 or fewer employees. Grantees will also participate in technical assistance and business education courses, provided by the Authority.
The remaining 40 percent of the initial pilot will be open to all entities who have secured municipal approval and site control over their business’s real estate. Applicants with conditional licenses and existing approvals can receive up to $250,000 in grant support for eligible expenses. Five percent of the total $10 million will be reserved for businesses located in Impact Zones.
To further encourage participants in economically disadvantaged areas, the application fee of $1,000 for those in these locations may be waived. The applications window will stay open for 180 days following the Grant Program’s launch.
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