Cannabis Business Pilot Grant

The Cannabis Business Pilot Grant is a funding opportunity for social equity cannabis businesses who have been awarded, or are actively pursuing, a regulated business license from the Marijuana Enforcement Division. This program was developed to support cannabis entrepreneurs through access to capital to promote social equity, innovation, and job creation across the industry. Eligible businesses are divided into 2 categories based on their needs: foundational and growth.

 Applications for this grant are not currently open. The application is expected to open first quarter 2022. Please sign up for the Cannabis Business Office email updates to be updated when this program opens.

Overview

Type: Grant

Amount: Maximum $25,000 or $50,000

For: Social equity cannabis businesses

Application opens: First quarter 2022

OEDIT division: Cannabis Business Office

Eligible cannabis businesses must:

  • have 51% of the business owned by a Social Equity License from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (beginning at the time of application and for 24 months after award disbursement)
  • have been awarded, or are actively pursuing, a Regulated Business License from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division
  • be in Good Standing with the Colorado Secretary of State

To be eligible for either the foundational or growth category, businesses must meet at least 2 of the 3 eligibility requirements for that category. 

Foundational:

  • have 1 to 5 employees
  • have an annual revenue of less than $500,000
  • have been in operation for less than 1 year
 

Growth:

  • have 6 to 15 employees
  • have an annual revenue of $500,000 to $3,000,000
  • have been in operation for more than 1 year

Technical assistance requirement

Applicants must complete the Cannabis Business Technical Assistance online learning modules to be eligible for the grant. If an applicant does not complete the technical assistance by the time the grant is disbursed, the applicant will have 21 calendar days to complete the technical assistance or forfeit their grant award. For this round of pilot grant funding, businesses may substitute this technical assistance requirement if they have previously completed 1 of the following training programs:

The maximum grant award amount for Foundational grant recipients is $25,000. The maximum grant award amount for Growth grant recipients is $50,000.

Applicants that receive a grant award are required to match that award with their own funds at a certain percentage, as designated below. Applicants must have dedicated funds that are equal to the required percentage below. Dedicated money means cash in an account held by the applicant, funds are traceable, and committed to the execution of the project proposal.

Award matching funding is required at the time of Cannabis Business Pilot Grant award distribution. In-kind contributions, OEDIT funding, nor other state funding that applicants have received directly or through a third-party may be used as the award match.

  • foundational category: businesses can apply  for up to $25,000 and must document 10% matching of the amount awarded to be used for the development of the project proposed
  • growth category: businesses can apply for up to $50,000 and must document 30% matching of the amount awarded to be used for the development of the project proposed

 Applications for this grant are not currently open. The application is expected to open quarter one 2022. Please sign up for the Cannabis Business Office email updates to be updated when this program opens.

Application portal

First-time users will need to register for an account in OEDIT's application portal to begin the application process. Please note, the application portal may take up to 48 hours to activate your account, so please leave time to create your account and access it before the application period closes. 

Once you have created your account or logged in, you will need to navigate to the Cannabis Business Office section in the application portal. The application portal allows users to save progress and return to the application, however we recommend having the completed forms and information ready before you begin.

Steps to apply

  1. Read through this program page to learn if you are eligible for the grant.
  2. Complete pre-application to confirm you meet basic eligibility requirements.
  3. If approved, complete application in OEDIT Application Portal.
  4. We will receive and review your application. 
  5. We will contact you if we need additional information. 
  6. We select the qualified applicants for the committee review process. 
  7. Committee reviews the qualified projects according to evaluation criteria. 
  8. Each committee member submits their evaluation with scoring results and the dollar amounts to be awarded. 
  9. We review the committee evaluations, confirm the final list of awarded applicants, and notify applicants of whether they will be issued grant funding and dollar amounts.

Grant recipients will be selected based on a competitive application process and the total monetary award will be determined after a formal committee review of project proposals. Grants are intended to support innovation and job creation for new and small cannabis businesses with a Social Equity License and Regulated Business License.

Applicants must apply using 1 of the following 5 proposal categories for their project proposal:

  • Brick and mortar regulatory requirements 
    • Security system install/upgrade
    • HVAC install/upgrade
    • Improved facilities
  • Technical and expert requirements 
    • Consulting for technical advancements 
    • Attorneys for operational agreements, contracts, and other legal documents
  • Licensing and regulatory fees
    • Insurance
    • Regulatory requirements
    • Licensing fees 
  • Operational needs
    • Hiring an additional person to expand operations
    • Buying equipment to increase output
    • Buying an additional vehicle for fleet expansion
  • Innovation
    • Innovation geared towards social equity causes
    • Innovative offering or practice 

Awarded businesses must agree to provide documentation of how the funds were spent and any additional documentation required by the Cannabis Business Office. Awarded businesses will send a 6-month and 1-year report about the development of the awarded project.

We will hold informational sessions for prospective applicants 2 weeks after the program announcement. As we finalize informational session dates and details, we will add the additional information here. 

Program Manager

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