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Created in 2018, the Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity (CORE) program was designed to address the impact of the War on Drugs on communities of color and other marginalized groups. It provides assistance and resources to help individuals and communities disproportionately affected by cannabis-related criminalization to enter and succeed in the legal cannabis industry. Learn more about the program through CORE's newly-developed microsite.


To be eligible for the CORE Program, they must qualify under one of the five classifications below. Classifications 1 and 2 are for individuals, while Classifications 3, 4 and 5 are for businesses.  For program eligibility verification, please contact us at


Lives or have lived in a low-income household in Sacramento AND:

a) Have been arrested in Sacramento for cannabis–related crime between 1980-2011 or

b) An immediate family member who meets the description above


Lived in a low income household in the following zip codes for 5 consecutive years between 1980 and 2011: 95811, 95815, 95817, 95820, 95823, 95824, 95826, 95828, 95818, 95838 and 95832.


Businesses with no less then 51% ownership by Classifications 1& 2 individuals.


CORE Program Incubator. CORE Incubator means a cannabis business which as a condition for receiving priority processing, either:

1.Hosts a participant; 30% of its workforce are Classification 1 or 2 eligible participants, measured by hours worked; and contracts no less than 51% of its cannabis products or services and ancillary business support with eligible participants; or

2. Is a shared manufacturing cannabis business and donates at least 10% of its hours of operation to allow participant(s) to utilize 100% of its business’ floor space and equipment; or

3. Is a cannabis business that sells, gives or otherwise transfers no less than a 33% equity share in the CORE Incubator’s cannabis business to eligible CORE participants or participants; 30% of its workforce be Classification 1 or 2 eligible; and contracts no less than 30% of its cannabis and ancillary business with Classification 1 or 2 eligible participants.

CORE Incubators shall host, donate to, employ, contract with, sell, give, or transfer to participants that reside within the city district in which the incubator sits. If no such participants exist, incubators shall utilize participants from other applicable areas.


Cannabis Social Enterprise with no less then 51% ownership by Classifications 1& 2 individuals.

Program benefits

General program benefits may include but are not limited to: business plan development, business monitoring, coaching on access to capital, business needs assessment, loan readiness assessment, market assessment, data and research strategies an support, assistance with a legal entity, assistance with criminal records expungement, lease negotiation assistance, small business legal considerations, mentoring, fiscal management, marketing/social media, technical training, employee training, and regulatory compliance. A CORE Program participant shall be entitled to receive the following benefits based on the applicable classification:

Classifications 1, 2, 3 & 5: Participants shall receive the following:
• All support services offered under the program
• Priority processing of application(s)
• Waiver of the Business Operating Permit (BOP) fee
• Exclusive access to any future storefront dispensary permits

Classification 4: Participants shall receive the following:
• Qualified and ready CORE participants to host
• Priority processing of application(s)

Learn more about program benefits here.

JOin the program

If you meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the program, take the first step in becoming a CORE Program participant here.


Hear from participants and their journey to becoming cannabis business owners through the CORE Program here.