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New Jersey Equity Program Offering $250,000 Grants for Start-Ups

Landmark pilot program will provide the largest grants of their kind in the nation.




Cannabis entrepreneurship opportunities backed by social equity programs like New Jersey’s Cannabis Equity Grant Program can play an integral role in building and returning wealth to individuals and communities that have been significantly harmed by the criminalization of cannabis. PHOTO PRNEWSWIRE

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) this week launched it online Eligibility Assessment Tool for the first phase of its Cannabis Equity Grant Program. The purpose of the Eligibility Assessment Tool is to help applicants determine their eligibility prior to the launch of the Phase I application. There is no cost for this tool.

The $10 million state-funded pilot program consists of 2 phases and the first phase is for the Joint Ventures Grant of $250,000, the largest of its kind in the nation.  The Joint Ventures Grant will allocate a total of $6 million in funding to 24 entities. The Cannabis Equity Grant Program is focused on supporting businesses and startups in the recreational cannabis industry and ensuring that communities that were adversely impacted by the war on drugs have equitable access to the industry.

To this end, 40% of the funding in Phase I is reserved for qualifying social equity applicants primarily characterized as those who have previous cannabis convictions or live in economically disadvantaged areas. Additionally, 5% of the total program funding is reserved for businesses located in Impact Zones, which are areas targeted based on previous levels of marijuana arrests, population, unemployment rates and additional socioeconomic factors.

“NJEDA is thrilled to take the first step in ensuring that businesses that have been historically and intentionally locked out of funding opportunities have access to the capital needed to participate in this growing industry,” says Tim Sullivan, CEO of NJEDA.

To learn more about the program and the eligibility requirements, visit Cannabis Equity Grant Program – NJEDA.


Brad Cheng is the digital editor of Global Cannabis Times, produced by SmartWork Media. Brad's journalism career spans working as an editor for PR Newswire, The Nation and The Santa Barbara News Press, and as Managing Editor of The Katy Courier, and publisher of Now This in Princeton. His career as a screenwriter took him into entertainment advertising, writing major film campaigns for studios and for HBO.



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