Economic Development: Polis Administration Launches Applications for Cannabis Business Office Pilot Grant

Cannabis plant (Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels)

The Polis Administration recently announced the Cannabis Business Office’s Cannabis Business Pilot Grant, a bold, forward-thinking initiative to save small businesses money, foster a more equitable cannabis industry, and make it easier for Coloradans to thrive in one of the state’s fastest-growing industries.

“Colorado’s nation-leading innovations in the cannabis industry are strengthening our economy, advancing diversity, and inclusion, and saving small business owners money,” said Gov. Polis.

The innovative grants, an initiative of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), provide financial support for social equity licensed cannabis businesses to accelerate the growth of their businesses.

“Finding funding opportunities is an ongoing challenge that cannabis entrepreneurs face in the US,” said Cannabis Business Office Program Manager, Tristan Watkins Ph.D. “The Pilot Grant is designed for early-stage and growing businesses to gain access to the capital they need to succeed – whether it’s for seed money to get started, or to help cover costs to improve their business.”

The first round of the Cannabis Business Pilot Grant opens today for eligible social equity licensed cannabis businesses who have been awarded, or are actively pursuing, a regulated business license from the Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Based on their maturity, eligible businesses are divided into either the Foundational or Growth category, awarding up to $25,000 and $50,000, respectively. Funds may be applied toward previous and upcoming projects for their business, including brick and mortar regulatory requirements, technical and expert requirements, licensing and regulatory fees, operation needs and innovative initiatives.

To be eligible for the grant, businesses are required to complete the Cannabis Business Technical Assistance program or a partner program, which teaches the fundamentals of launching and operating a business in the cannabis industry. Businesses will then complete the pre-application and application process, where they will prepare a project proposal detailing their projected use of the grant funds. The prerequisite technical assistance program is a valuable tool for applicants as they prepare their project proposal. Approved applications will undergo reviewer evaluations and awarded businesses will be notified and receive funding soon after.

Visit the Cannabis Business Pilot Grant webpage to learn more about eligibility, award amounts, the application process, selection criteria and more. Applications are due by April 11. To be notified of future rounds of grant funding, subscribe to the Cannabis Business Office monthly newsletter.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) works with partners to create a positive business climate that encourages dynamic economic development and sustainable job growth. Under the leadership of Governor Jared Polis, we strive to advance the State’s economy through financial and technical assistance that fosters local and regional economic development activities throughout Colorado. OEDIT offers a host of programs and services tailored to support business development at every level including business retention services, business relocation services, and business funding and incentives. Our office includes the Global Business Development division; Colorado Tourism Office; Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office; Colorado Creative Industries; Business Financing & Incentives division; the Colorado Small Business Development Network; Cannabis Business Office; Colorado Office of Film, TV & Media; the Minority Business Office; Employee Ownership Office; and Rural Opportunity Office. Learn more at

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