Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Pilot Program

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Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
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The Sustainable California Grown Cannabis Pilot Program (SCGC Pilot Program) will compile data into a Best Management Practices Manual for sustainable outdoor cannabis cultivation.



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 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.

Eligibility, Funding, and Duration

CDFA may award up to $7.5 million to the following eligible organizations; Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), public and private academic institutions located within California, non-profits, and federally- and California-recognized Native American Indian Tribes. The maximum award amount is $2,500,000 for the duration of the 3 year grant term. CDFA reserves the right to offer an award different than the amount requested. 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 Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

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, and Federally- and California-Recognized Native American Indian Tribes

Eligible Geographies:

Projects which allocate funding to Socially Disadvantaged Cultivators (SDCs), Priority Populations, or Cannabis Equity Businesses (CEBs) as defined by the Department of Cannabis Control or local ordinances if applicable will receive priority consideration.

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
February 2022
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
36 months

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
$1 – $2,500,000
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

Senate Bill 170 (Skinner, Budget Act of 2021, Chapter 240) established the grant funding.

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advances & Reimbursement(s)

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


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