Project Trellis Local Equity Program

Project Trellis Local Equity Program will be rolled out in two phase V1.0 using grant funding from the Bureau of Cannabis Control, and V2.0 using grant funding from the Governor's Office of Business. The County of Humboldt Economic Development Office is currently reviewing applications for the Local Equity Program V1.0. The Local Equity Program V2.0 is anticipated to open applications in mid-2021.

Program Overview

The Project Trellis Local Equity Program was developed in response to California Senate Bill 1294 the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018. Through interviews and data, the Humboldt County Cannabis Equity Assessment identified those most effected by the criminalization of cannabis in Humboldt County. It was identified that certain populations and neighborhoods, particularly small growers, and those effected by past policies, while participating in the cannabis industry, were negatively impacted. The findings of the Cannabis Equity Assessment, were then used to create the Program's equity eligibility requirements, which are outlined in the Local Equity Program Manual. Additionally the Local Equity Program Manual outlines the services available to those who meet the eligibility requirements. The Program implements the State of California and County of Humboldt’s legislative goals to further equity among those impacted by the criminalization of cannabis. 

Governance

The Program is governed by the County of Humboldt’s Ordinance 2623, Resolution 19-23 and 19-24, applicable guidelines of the Bureau of Cannabis Control (“BCC”), The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), and the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018, and other applicable local and state laws and regulations.

SB1294

California State Senate Bill 1294 (SB1294) the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 dedicated "grant funds to assist local equity licensees in that local jurisdiction to gain entry to, and to successfully operate in, the state’s regulated cannabis marketplace." These state grant funds are available to local jurisdictions who have a created a local equity program, and support that program with a contribution of local funds. As defined in SB1294, the local jurisdiction can then administer these funds to individuals who are deemed equity eligible based on meeting the requirements outline in the jurisdiction's Local Equity Program Manual. Those who are deemed eligible must also be individuals who will apply for, or have applied for a permit in their local jurisdiction, Local Equity Applicants, or those who have obtained a permit within their local jurisdiction, Local Equity Licensee. These funds than can be issued to those Local Equity Applicants and Licensees for services that assist with entry into and successful operation within the State Cannabis marketplace. 

Humboldt County Cannabis Equity Assessment (CEA)

The first addition of the Humboldt County Cannabis Equity Assessment (CEA) was written in 2019 to assess the effects the War on Drugs had on the cannabis community in Humboldt County. The County Administrative Office, Economic Development Division contracted with the California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) at Humboldt State University and the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HIIMR) to research and prepare secondary data to create the CEA. Additionally, the Assessment acknowledges that the legalization of cannabis creates remarkable business opportunities in the future, however not everyone who has made a living in the past is able to thrive in the future. The CEA provides recommendations that will assure assistance is provided to community members that experienced the most harm from decades of criminalization of cannabis and assist them in participation in the legalized industry in Humboldt County. The CEA established that Humboldt has been hit hard by the criminalization of cannabis, and a targeted, data-driven and well-funded equity program can help certain populations and neighborhoods, particularly small growers and those impacted from past policies that may be left behind, into a legal, sustainable economic future.  

Humboldt County Local Equity Program (LEP) Manual

The purpose of the Local Equity Program manual is to describe the qualifications for, and services to be provided by, the Humboldt County Cannabis Local Equity Program (LEP). The manual is intended to be updated annually, taking into consideration feedback from our State funders, interdepartmental partners, stakeholders, and cannabis community members. 

Program Funding

The Local Equity Program (LEP) receives funding in part from Measure S funds and State Cannabis Equity Grant (CEG) funds. The LEP receives a percentage of the 10% Measure S allocation provided to Project Trellis. Additionally, the LEP has received three awards of State CEG funds. The first award, from the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), in the amount of $1.33m. The second award, from the Governor's Office Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), in the amount of $2.4m. The third award, from GO-Biz, in the amount of $1.05m. All State funds are budgeted as 10% administrative, 10% direct technical assistance, and 80% grants. 

For More Information

With specific questions about applications contact Peggy Murphy via email at pmurphy@co.humboldt.ca.us, or call (707) 599-0125.