CERF program

Due to the volume of applications received thus far, CERF acceptance and processing of new applications will be paused after February 24, 2022 until further notification. Please check back for updates and/or sign-up for CERF partner communication via their respective websites.

Apply

Applications will be accepted on February 1st on a first come, first served basis. Funds will be dispersed starting March 1st.  Please send any questions and completed applications to cerfapps@orcannabisassociation.org.

Background

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, Portland City Council passed the Cannabis Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). City Council’s approval allocates $1.33 million in Cannabis tax revenue toward recovery efforts for Portland’s cannabis industry. The vote is historic as Portland becomes the first government jurisdiction in the country to allocate cannabis tax revenue to help cannabis businesses and workers as they continue to endure the impacts of robberies, COVID-19, and wildfires.

Council’s approval allows Civic Life to provide non-competitive, umbrella grants to three community partners—NuLeaf ProjectThe Initiative and the Oregon Cannabis Association—to support and stimulate emergency relief grants for cannabis business and individuals. Applications will begin to be accepted on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022 on a first come, first served basis.

The Fund is designed to support businesses and employees who were directly impacted by COVID-19, increased vandalism, and crime, and the 2020 wildfires.  Businesses may also use the grant to help pay for prior year deferred City of Portland licensing fees in order to remain in compliance and avoid further economic hardship.

The Cannabis Emergency Relief Fund will provide one-time grants of up to $25,000 for small sized licensed Cannabis businesses within Portland city limits or ancillary businesses with 80% of their income from cannabis businesses within Portland city limits, and up to $5,000 to cannabis industry workers economically impacted from COVID-19, vandalism, robberies, wildfire, and the residual effects of illness, trauma, and grief suffered from such impacts.

Eligibility

If you are applying as a business you must be a licensed, cannabis business in good standing with the City of Portland Cannabis Program AND:

  • Business is operated by a historically disadvantaged owner (minority, women, veteran, small business and/or low income) OR
  • Hold three (3) or less pending or active Marijuana Regulatory Licenses by Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) AND
  • Had annual receipts of less than $2.0 million in annual revenue for calendar year 2020if business began operating on or after January 1, 2020
  • Had annual receipts of less than $2.0 million in annual revenue for calendar year 2021 If business began operating on or after January 1, 2021

Other required eligibility:

  • Business headquarters must be in Oregon and/or business must be doing business in Portland, Oregon.
  • Business has at least one full time employee. Please note: If business have sole proprietorship/owners, this may also count as an employee.
  • Applicants’ employees must be on their payroll and have payroll taxes withheld. Please note: Independent contractors do not count toward employee numbers.
  • Be registered, current, and in good standing with the Oregon Secretary of State Office
  • Be current and in good standing with local, state, and applicable federal taxing and licensing authorities.
  • Applicable licenses are compliant and in good standing with local and state licensing agencies.
  • Meet program technical requirements including ability to provide financial records.
  • Certify intent to remain in operation for at least six months.
  • One-time eligibility within the fiscal year.
  • Funds must be applied only to licensed business and/or its employees within Portland.
  • Not eligible for expenses covered by other grants and/or insurance.

If you are applying as an individual you must be working on behalf of an OLCC licensed producer, processor, wholesaler, or retailer, including the licensees working in a licensed business or managing information in CTS, AND

  • Have an approved and active OLCC Marijuana Worker Permit, AND
  • Be part of a historically disadvantaged population, OR
  • Annual Income does not exceed 80% of median income for City of Portland metro area

OR

Must have previously worked on behalf of an OLCC licensed producer, processor, wholesaler, or retailer and laid off and/or terminated after March 2020, AND

  • Have proof of an OLCC Marijuana Worker Permit expired after March 2020
  • Be part of a historically disadvantaged population, OR
  • Annual Income does not exceed 80% of median income for City of Portland metro area

Other required eligibility:

  • Working in the City of Portland