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 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 of the 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 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 eligible organizations to develop best management practices (BMPs) for sustainable outdoor cannabis cultivation. Funding will also be used to incentivize participation of licensed outdoor cannabis growers in the development of BMPs. 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
  • Private universities located within California

Timeline

Solicitation Process Estimated Timeframe*
Draft RGA Public Comment Period March 14, 2022 – April 14, 2022
2nd RGA release July 11, 2022
2nd public workshop July 28, 2022
2nd Draft RGA Public Comment Period July 11, 2022 – August 5, 2022
Finalize RGA August - September 2022
Application Submission Period October - November 2022
Review Period and Award Announcements November - December 2022
Grant Agreement Development and Execution January 2023
Awarded Project Implementation March 2023 - December 31, 2025

*Subject to change.

Workshop and Public Comment

On Monday, July 11, 2022, CDFA released a Second Draft Request for Grant Application (RGA). CDFA hosted a workshop on July 28, 2022 to provide information on the second draft RGA and changes made to the original draft.

Public comment on the second draft RGA will be accepted through August 5, 2022, at 5 p.m. PST and may be submitted by email to CannabisAg@cdfa.ca.gov or by mail to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

On April 12, 2022, CDFA hosted the first informational workshop to provide an overview of program guidelines and application materials. The webinar also provided an opportunity for the public to provide comments on the draft application materials below. Written comments on the draft RGA were submitted to the Department on April 14, 2022.

General questions regarding the solicitation process may be submitted to CannabisAg@cdfa.ca.gov.

Draft Request for Grant Application

First Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Draft RGA

Second Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Draft RGA (Clean)

Second Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Draft RGA (Redline)

Workplan and Budget Worksheet