Humboldt County is taking big steps to bring support to cannabis cultivators. Plagued by the continuous falling price of cannabis, growers in Humboldt County, California have now been offered a lifeline by local lawmakers. On Monday, August 16, the county opened up the application period for “Project Trellis,” a support program to provide a boost to local marijuana farmers.
The program draws upon the California Cannabis Equity Act, which was signed into law in 2018 and aimed to redress the harmful legacy of cannabis prohibition by “[ensuring] that persons most harmed by cannabis criminalization and poverty be offered assistance to enter the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry as entrepreneurs or as employees with high-quality, well-paying jobs.” This year, those eligible to participate in Project Trellis can reportedly apply for up to $10,000 “per service,” with more than $2 million overall in available grants through the program. The deadline to submit applications is September 17.
The grant money is arriving at an extremely difficult time for cannabis cultivators. Natalynne DeLapp, the executive director of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance, revealed to the Times-Standard newspaper that the county’s “independent cannabis farmers are in crisis.” She also stated that “It is great that the county developed Project Trellis…and [has] secured nearly $5 million in funding from the state to support communities most impacted by the War on Drugs in entering the regulated cannabis market, but now it is time to get serious.” The program has three levels of assistance: a Cannabis Business Micro-grant Program, a Local Equity Program, and a Marketing and Promotion Program.
The Micro-grant Program, “provides cannabis business an opportunity to apply for funding to cover business-related expenditures,” according to the county, while the Local Equity Program “provides resources to local communities and individuals who have been impacted by the War on Drugs.” The Marketing Program is “designed to promote and maintain Humboldt grown cannabis as a national and industry brand.” It’s amazing to see lawmakers take action towards ensuring equality and equity in the cannabis industry for all independent and non-independent growers.