Governor Polis Celebrates Colorado Cannabis Industry, Joins Cannabis Business Office in Launching Pilot Access to Experts Program

Today, Governor Polis and the Cannabis Business Office (CBO) within the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT) announced a pilot program to support Colorado’s social equity licensed cannabis businesses as they grow. The Governor announced the new pilot, Access to Experts, at the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) Equity Workshop Tour, which focused on the importance of Colorado’s diverse cannabis industry. Access to Experts will connect eligible businesses to subject matter experts in compliance, marketing and financial consulting at low or no cost.  

“Colorado has always been a national leader in cannabis and now our Cannabis Business Office is continuing that work with innovative new programs that support cannabis businesses at all stages of growth. The Access to Experts program saves businesses money while helping them take important steps to continue growing,” said Gov. Jared Polis.

Later in the day, Governor Polis will deliver a keynote at the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Colorado Stakeholder Summit. The event will feature a coalition of speakers from the industry that provided policy updates, and stories from community members.

Through Access to Experts, program participants will work directly with subject matter experts to complete projects such as a compliance audit, a brand identity book, or a pitch deck for potential investors. These experts are selected for their experience and expertise in each subject, and businesses will have the opportunity to choose their preferred expert.
“Creating a website or getting started on social media can make a big difference in a cannabis business' ability to connect with customers, just as a compliance audit can bring peace of mind and improve operational excellence. This program removes the financial barriers to getting critical business guidance,” said Eve Lieberman, OEDIT Executive Director.
To be eligible, businesses must be social equity licensees. Interested businesses will be asked to submit a project proposal and all packages will include a free 30-minute introductory meeting to determine the scope of work. Depending on the selected project, Cannabis Business Office funding will cover up to $5,000 of project fees.

The Access to Experts program is one of several CBO programs available for Colorado’s social equity licensed cannabis businesses. The Cannabis Business Grant provides $20,000-$25,000 Foundational and Foundational Plus Grants to help early stage cannabis businesses with their startup needs and $50,000 Growth Grants to support existing cannabis businesses as they grow or refine their operations. The Cannabis Business Loan Program is designed to support larger, more established cannabis businesses as they continue to grow.

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