Polis Announces Loan Program To Boost Equity In State Cannabis Industry

Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently announced the launch of a new state-funded loan program for cannabis social equity businesses.

The Cannabis Report – May 4th, 2023

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The new program is designed to provide financing to licensed social equity cannabis businesses, which typically face difficulties raising the capital needed to launch and grow their enterprises. The initiative will be administered by the state Cannabis Business Office (CBO) within the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT) in partnership with NuProject, a Portland, Oregon-based organization working “to build generational wealth via the legal cannabis industry for the Black and Brown communities disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs,” according to the group’s website.

Colorado’s Cannabis Business Loan Program will provide low-interest loans of between $50,000 and $150,000 for social equity cannabis businesses to finance renovations or expansions, the purchase of equipment, real estate or to use as working capital.

NuProject and the CBO will administer the Cannabis Business Loan Program as a revolving loan fund. As loans to business owners are repaid, the interest generated will be reinvested into the fund to support future borrowers. The state’s initial investment of $1 million is expected to lend $2.9 million over the next 10 years, creating and retaining jobs in Colorado, according to state officials.

The Cannabis Business Loan Program is the third CBO funding source available for Colorado’s licensed social equity cannabis businesses and is designed to support larger, more established cannabis businesses as they continue to grow. The Cannabis Business Grant, launched in 2021, provides $25,000 Foundational Grants to help early-stage cannabis businesses with the costs to launch their operations and $50,000 Growth Grants to support existing cannabis businesses as they expand or refine their operations.

About Leland Rucker:

Leland Rucker is a journalist who has been covering the cannabis industry culture since Amendment 64 legalized adult-use in Colorado, for Boulder Weekly, Sensi, and The News Station. Leland has been keeping KGNU listeners up-to-date on cannabis news for nearly a decade.