Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Pilot Program

The SCGC Pilot Program is currently accepting applications now through December 30, 2022 at 5 p.m. PT.

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 environmental benefits and concerns associated with its cultivation. For example, greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction potential, sustainable land use, soil health benefits, ecological health benefits, pesticide use, and water resource management, are some of the many environmental interests associated with cannabis agriculture.

Senate Bill 170 (Skinner, Budget Act of 2021, Chapter 240) included $9 million in funding to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to develop and administer a Sustainable California Grown Cannabis (SCGC) pilot study. The program will fund research that develops environmentally sustainable best management practices (BMPs) in outdoor cannabis agriculture. Funding will also be provided to incentivize licensed legacy outdoor cannabis growers to participate in the collection of data to benchmark BMPs. The study will focus on sustainable water and energy use; pest management and fertilizer practices; and overall ecological health. Applicants may focus on specific practices associated with one or more of these areas.

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. Advanced payments may be provided with appropriate justification.
  • 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
  • Private universities located within California
  • Non-profits
  • Federally- and California-Recognized Native American Indian Tribes

Timeline

Activity Timeframe*
RGA Released November 7, 2022
Application period begins  November 7, 2022 
Informational Webinar November 18, 2022
Applications due December 30, 2022 by 5:00 p.m. PT
Review of applications received  January 2023
Announcement of awards  February 2023
Execution of grant agreements   February - May 2023
Sustainable California Grown Cannabis pilot study Implementation  June 1, 2023 - June 30, 2026 

*Subject to change.

Webinar

CDFA hosted an informational webinar to provide an overview of program and application requirements on November 18, 2022. The following links provide a recording and the presentation used during the webinar.

November 18, 2022 SCGC webinar recording

November 18, 2022 SCGC webinar presentation

General questions regarding the solicitation process may be submitted to CannabisAg@cdfa.ca.gov. Responses to all questions received by email will be provided according to the following schedule:

Questions Received By: Responses Provided By:
November 23, 2022 December 2, 2022

November 23, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. PT is the final deadline to submit questions for the SCGC pilot study grant application. 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.

Workshop and Public Comment

CDFA held two public workshops which served as stakeholder listening sessions to help develop the SCGC Pilot Program Request for Grant Application (RGA).

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.

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 comments on the second draft RGA were submitted to the Department on August 5, 2022, at 5 p.m. PST. Responses to these public comments are available for review.