Humboldt County is one of the top recipients in cannabis equity funding from the state, which doled out $10 million to 10 municipalities on Wednesday. Humboldt County’s share is more than $1.3 million.
Humboldt County’s economic development director, who oversees the implementation of Project Trellis, was excited about the grant funding coming to Humboldt County from the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control.
“Yes, we did get the funding!” Scott Adair said in an email to the Times-Standard, following up with a “Woot woot!”
The funding will be awarded to individuals through Project Trellis’ equity program, which is aimed at helping those who were impacted by the criminalization of the cannabis industry and the war on drugs.
“It could go to someone who is not a business owner but they work in the industry,” said Adair. “You don’t have to be the business owner. You could be a worker or someone in the industry.”
The qualifications for equity funding run the gamut from minorities including women and LGBTQ individuals to those who have been victims of sexual assault or human trafficking as a result of involvement in the industry. One can qualify by having been homeless as a result of cannabis enforcement or it could go to someone who intends to seeks a cultivation permit.
“The state has not called it a reparations program,” said Adair. “But it certainly is an acknowledgment of what the war on drugs has done to the industry.”
He said the significant impacts of the criminalization of cannabis in Humboldt County played a role in the size of the funding allotted to the county. The awards range in size from $100,000 for the city of Palm Springs, to $1.8 million for the city of Los Angeles.
“The issue concerning the criminalization of cannabis and the war on drugs has been ongoing in our county for decades,” said Adair. “We were impacted in a completely different way than an inner-city urban environment was impacted. … It looked radically different. There were not armed soldiers repelling from helicopters into inner-city streets. But that’s what was occurring here in Humboldt.”
Adair said it’s unclear when individuals will be able to apply for the funding because decisions need to be made about how the funding will be distributed.
But he said the county is opening up applications for business grants through Project Trellis, which are separate from the equity program. The micro-grants are for businesses “to assist cannabis businesses as they work to overcome the financial and logistical challenges of coming into compliance.”
The business grant applications are available on the Project Trellis website at https://humboldtgov.org/2473/Project-Trellis.
Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520.