CDFW News | CDFW awards first funds from Skilled Grower Grant Program


CDFW awards first funds from Skilled Grower Grant Program

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), through its Cannabis Restoration Grant Program (CRGP), has awarded over $1.7 million through its Qualified Cultivator Grant Program. These grants are intended to help cannabis growers obtain their annual license and promote sustainable growing practices, which may include addressing legacy issues on their property and water conservation measures.

While funding is not paid directly to growers, it can be obtained through eligible entities, including nonprofits, government agencies, or tribes. CRGP released the Qualified Grower funding opportunity in August 2021 with total funding of $6 million available. The non-competitive tender will remain open until April 2023.

Sun + Earth received $395,643 for planning and capacity building to support sustainable cultivation practices for its network of cannabis growers. The grant will also provide the framework to help growers obtain an annual license and support sustainability projects focused on land restoration and conservation.

The Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) received $1,388,181 for water conservation projects in the South Fork Eel River watershed. The funds will focus on three cannabis cultivation sites and will be used to design and install three rainwater harvesting systems, complete irrigation infrastructure upgrades, develop and implement a management plan invasive species, install pollinator-friendly native plants, and prepare site-specific California environmental measures. Documentation of the quality law required for cannabis growers.

“These are well-designed and timely planning projects that will result in lasting benefits for fish and wildlife resources and the habitats they depend on for their survival,” said Sarah Paulson, Acting Cannabis Program Director. “Supporting these entities will help preserve California’s natural resources and pave the way for future cannabis growers in the regulated market.”

The Skilled Grower program has three stages: consultation, pre-application and full application. The consultation process is optional, but will allow staff and potential applicants to discuss the applicability and eligibility of the proposed project. Applicants are required to submit a pre-application before being considered for the full application.

You can find more information on the consultation on the concept and funding priorities in the Concept Consultation Request Outline (PDF).

CRGP grants are funded through the California Environmental Protection and Restoration Account, pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code Section 34019(f)(2), and may be used to fund cleanup, remediation and restoration of environmental damage in watersheds affected by cannabis cultivation and related activities and to support local partnerships to this end.

For questions about the CDFW CRGP, please email [email protected]


Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891


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