SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The city of San Francisco announced Friday it has received a $4.5 million state grant to promote equity within the city’s cannabis industry.

Mayor London Breed said the state funding will help support the city’s Office of Cannabis (OOC) Equity Grant Program and its original goal to combat disparities in the cannabis industry through the establishment of equity cannabis businesses.

“COVID-19 had a significant impact on our city’s small businesses and entrepreneurs, including those in the cannabis industry,” said Mayor Breed. “With the assistance from the State and leadership at the Office of Cannabis, this funding will ensure that the Cannabis Equity Grant Program continues to achieve its goal of providing access to the industry for those who have been disproportionally affected by past policies.”

The OOC’s grant program has issued more than $5.5 million to more than 50 businesses since the city launched it in February 2021. City officials said roughly 65% of grant recipients identify as people of color.

“From a historical lens, the Equity Grant Program represents government proactively addressing drug policies that have harmed our communities,” said Nikesh Patel, director of the San Francisco Office of Cannabis. “We hear from social equity applicants just how powerful these grants are to advance their businesses. We take pride in continuing to develop a program that includes community input, meets applicants’ needs, and ultimately reduces barriers to entering the cannabis industry.”

Grant recipients will get awards ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 to reimburse or grant advancements for expenses like accounting services, legal assistance, rent, and more. The city said $2 million in new cannabis equity grants will be made available in May.

To learn more about San Francisco’s Cannabis Equity Program, click here.