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CORE Grant Program

In March 2021, the City of Sacramento received $1.8 million in grants from the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) to help increase equity in the cannabis industry. Of these funds, $1.4 million will be allocated towards the CORE Grant Program.  Approximately 10% is allocated for direct technical assistance while another 10% is allocated towards the cost of administering the program.  

CORE SMALL GRANTs 

Following a review of applications received on March 21st, up to 31 CORE applicants will receive small grants of up to $5,000 each.  Recipients of the small grants can be viewed here.

SMALL GRANTS APPLICATION

The CORE Grant Program application for small grants of up to $5,000 will open on Monday, March 21 at 12PM. Funds will be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis and awarded to one person per business. Only those individuals and businesses that did not receive grant funds from the Office of Cannabis Management in 2022 are eligible.

 

Instructions for Applying:

  1. Download the application and fill out completely. Save this on your computer where it will be easily available during the application window.

  2. For step-by-step instructions on what the upload process will look like, click here.

  3. Questions about the application and process may be submitted to cannabis@cityofsacramento.org until Friday, March 18. Responses will be posted here.

  4. Upload your completed application HERE on Monday, March 21 at 12PM

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Q: If my business is selected in receiving this grant will it void out any future grant opportunities in 2022 and beyond? 

A: If you or your business were to be awarded a small grant this round, it would not preclude you from being eligible for additional grant funding this year. However, we may reduce any future grant funding by the amount of this small grant. 

QWhat if I don't yet have a business location but I want to use the $5,000 towards a microbusiness license?

A: You don’t need to have a location to qualify for this grant opportunity. However, both local and state license fees are waived for equity members, so this grant cannot be used towards any permitting fees. The permitting process requires first identifying a business location, followed by applying for and receiving a CUP, unless there is already one at that location.

 

 

INFORMATION ON THE GRANT APPLICATION SUBMISSION PROCESS AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

The CORE Grant Program application opened on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at noon and is now closed.  The application opened to those with leased or owned locations.  CORE members can request up to $125,000 for this grant cycle on a first-come-first-served basis.  Applications were open only for one CORE member per business.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

1. How will the first come, first serve basis be validated? Will each applicant receive a time and date stamp? What happens if two people get the same time and date stamp? When will the results be provided?

Answer: The web submission form will show a chronological order of the submissions. Applicants will also receive a confirmation email with the date and time of their submission. While the system does not have the ability to display timestamps down to the second, the system has been tested by the City’s IT department to sufficiently demonstrate that applications will be displayed in the order in which they were submitted. Our hope is that we can review applications for completeness and provide results within a few days.

2. Can my grant application be considered if I don't submit all required documentation?

Answer: No, a grant application shall be deemed incomplete and not considered for a grant if it lacks the required responses.

3. If the number of applications received simultaneously exceeds the number of grants available, how will you determine who will get the grant? 

Answer: The applications will be reviewed for completeness in the order in which they were received, and grants will be awarded totaling $150,000. The number of grant awardees will be determined by the amount they requested on their approved applications on a first come, first served basis.

4.  I only have verbal quotes for the amounts I've listed in the budget section, do I need to provide written verification for each amount listed? 

Answer:  You don’t need to provide written verification for the amounts listed. If you are awarded a grant and those amounts should change, we will require an updated budget to match the new amounts and receipts to match the budget. But for the purposes of assessing the grant application for completeness, we will be looking to make sure your budget outlines only allowable expenses and that the budget narrative that matches the budget.

5.  If we are not able to digitally sign the CORE grant application document, would a scanned signature be enough?

Answer:  A wet signature is not required to submit the application.  An electronic/digital/scanned signature is sufficient.

 

DISCUSSIONS ON DISBURSEMENT OF GRANT FUNDS

At both the May 3rd and June 2nd CORE Stakeholder meetings, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) started the discussion with CORE stakeholders on how to disburse the $1.4 million allocated for grants. PPT presentations and videos from those meetings can be viewed here.

OCM collected all ideas and feedback that participants shared at both those meetings and via email and sorted them into seven grant program options.

At the August 4th, an online poll was conducted to identify stakeholders’ top three choices, as well as their preferred disbursement method. The poll questions can be viewed here.

POLL RESULTS FROM AUGUST 4 STAKEHOLDER MEETING

Participants filled out polls on how the $1.4 million in state funding the City received this year for grants should be disbursed to CORE members. Participants received three votes for the grant program options to use in any combination, including voting for the same option multiple times. We had 63 stakeholders in the meeting participate. The option that received the most support with 45 votes was for CORE members with leased/owned locations only (no CUP required), followed by the Incubator/Social Enterprise business (building an eco-system) option with 35 votes, and CORE members with submitted BOPs only with 34 votes.  

We then followed up with a poll focused on further refining these grant options to find out more about how the funds should be disbursed. We had 66 stakeholders in the meeting participate in this second poll. Most participants did not prefer a reimbursement method for these funds (57.6% or 38 votes). Similarly, most participants wanted a portion of the funding to be set aside for small grants on a first come, first serve basis (57.6% or 38 votes). The tiered disbursement methods with the highest percentage of votes were by size of project (33.3% or 22 votes) and by business type including cost of business (cultivation, lab, nursery, delivery, etc) (24.2% or 16 votes). There was a tie between preferred options for the optimal amount for the grant. Both funding between $35,000 and $125,000 (fewer than 40 participants) and funding provided as mixed or tiered grants (combination of large, medium and small grants) received 31.8% or 21 votes each. And finally, the majority of participants responded that grants should be made available per CORE participant (56.1% or 37 votes).  The full results from both polls can be found here.  After the stakeholder meeting, nine additional stakeholders who had missed the meeting filled out the survey.  The updated summary data for all questions can be found here.  

Based on the full results, options for the grant program were developed. During the next Stakeholder meeting on September 22, you will be able to take a short survey to further refine these options. Click here to view the survey/poll questions.

SUMMARY RESULTS FROM SEPT 22 FOLLOW-UP  SURVEY

The summary results from the refinement survey, conducted both at the CORE Stakeholder Meeting on September 22, 2021 and through an online survey for those unable to attend the meeting, can be found here.

The majority of participants (58%) voted to allow CORE members with leased/owned locations ONLY to apply for grant funding. No CUP or BOP would be required to qualify to apply on a first come, first served basis. There was no consensus on whether grant funding should be awarded as a flat amount or as a mixed/tiered option or whether the funding should be given based on business type or project status.

However, participants overwhelmingly assigned Tier 1 funding of $125,000 to all project statuses and business types, which aligns more closely with awarding a flat amount of $125,000 to applicants on a first come first served basis. This would allow 11 CORE members to receive funding. The two small grant options with the most support were setting aside $150,000 for either $3,000 or $5,000 grants.  Further refinement is needed to finalize the grant program.