It’s official, Coachella has been awarded a $500,000 “local equity grant’ from the Bureau of Cannabis Control. After a rather long delay from this past June, grants have been awarded to several more California cities. These include Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Fransisco, San Jose, and Sacramento. To clarify, the grant presented to Coachella has been given to the City of Coachella, not the festival! While cannabis will likely continue to be banned from inside the festival, it will be widely available in the surrounding areas.
“The City of Coachella’s Cannabis Social Equity Program aims to provide financial and technical assistance to small business applicants from communities with high levels of poverty or a history of drug arrests,” – Mayor Steven Hernandez
According to the London Free Press, the grant will be used “for commercial cannabis equity programs that focus on inclusion and support of persons and communities that were negatively or disproportionately impacted by cannabis criminalization.” For better or for worse, cannabis will be more accessible to those in the surrounding areas.
Again, the intent of the program in California is to assist those in communities impacted by cannabis criminalization. In all, California is not the only state taking advantage of these grants. While California has been awarded in total $10 million, Illinois has been granted $12 million. It is up to the state and specific cities to determine how the money will be implemented.
Even though the Coachella Festival does not allow cannabis into the event, we all know it makes its way through. Next year, it will be interesting to see if these huge grants negatively impact the festival and its attendees. In the meantime, read more about the California grants here.