In an effort to create jobs and promote equity in the cannabis industry, Gov. lared Polis last week announced that the state would partner with a mission-based lender to provide financing to those in the cannabis industry who don’t have access to traditional lenders.
Colorado’s Cannabis Business Office, within the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), has partnered with NuProject to create the Cannabis Business Loan Program, which will provide loans between $50,000 and $150,000 for renovations, expansions, purchase of equipment, real estate or use as working capital, according to a release from OEDIT.
“This landmark loan program will create and retain 239 good-paying jobs and promote equity in the cannabis industry by providing growing businesses access to funding. I am committed to saving small businesses money and ensuring our state remains a great place to start and run a business in every industry. Thank you to NuProject for partnering with Colorado on this exciting milestone and working to support innovation in Colorado’s cannabis industry,” Polis said.
The program will work as a revolving loan program, so as loans are repaid, the interest generated will be reinvested into the fund to support future borrowers. The initial $1 million investment is expected to lend $2.9 million over the next 10 years, according to the release.
The new loan program is the third CBO funding source created for the state’s social equity licensed cannabis businesses. Hie Cannabis Business Grant was launched in 2021 and provides $25,000 grants to help early stage cannabis businesses with startup needs. It also offers $50,000 grants for existing cannabis businesses.
Recipients are required to be social equity lecensed cannabis businesses that have been awarded a regulated business license from the Marijuana Enforcement Division.