Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Pilot Program


Background

The Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Pilot Program (SCGC Pilot Program) was created to improve the state’s access to data related to outdoor cannabis cultivation to formulate standards and best management practices that can be used by cultivators statewide. One of the primary goals of regulating cannabis in California is to help address many environmental issues associated with its cultivation. For example, greenhouse gas emission (GHG), sustainable land use, soil contamination, pesticide use, and water resource management, are some of the many environmental risks associated with the cultivation of cannabis.

Senate Bill (SB) 170 (Skinner, The Budget Act of 2021, Chapter 240, Statute of 2021) includes $9 million in funding to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for the SCGC Pilot Program. The program will provide funding to incentivize licensed outdoor cannabis growers from legacy cultivation areas to participate in the collection of data to benchmark best practices to reduce the environmental impact of outdoor cannabis cultivation. The study will focus on sustainable water and energy use; pest management and fertilizer practices; and soil health.

Funding and Duration

CDFA will award up to $7.5 million to eligible organizations.

  • The grant term will be 36 months.
  • The maximum award amount is $2,500,000.
  • CDFA reserves the right to offer an award different than the amount requested.
  • Funds are distributed on a reimbursement basis following submission of quarterly invoices by the awardee.
  • Grant funds may not be expended prior to execution of the grant agreements for awarded projects, or after the completion of the grant agreement term.

Eligibility

The following entities are eligible to apply for the SCGC grants:

  • Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs)
  • University of California, California Community Colleges or California State Universities
  • Non-profits
  • Federally- and California-Recognized Native American Indian Tribes

Timeline

Solicitation Process Estimated Timeframe*
Draft RGA Public Comment Period March 14, 2022 – April 14, 2022
Finalize RGA April – May 2022
Application Submission Period June 1 – July 1, 2022
Review Period and Award Announcements July – August 2022
Grant Agreement Development and Execution September 2022 
Awarded Project Implementation September 2022 – December 31, 2025

*Subject to change.

Workshop

CDFA will host an informational webinar to provide an overview of program guidelines and application materials on April 12, 2022. The webinar will also provide an opportunity for the public to provide comments on the draft application materials below. Written comments on the draft RGA may be submitted to CannabisAg@cdfa.ca.gov by April 14, 2022. Register for the webinar.

General questions regarding the solicitation process may be submitted to CannabisAg@cdfa.ca.gov. Responses to all questions received by email will be posted to CDFA’s SCGC Pilot Program website according to the following schedule:

Questions Received By: Responses Provided By:
June 8, 2022 June 16, 2022

To maintain the integrity of the competitive grant process, CDFA is unable to advise and/or provide individuals with any information regarding specific grant application questions during the solicitation process.

Draft Request for Grant Application

Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Draft RGA