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by DGO Staff

Colorado unveils pioneering loan program for social equity weed businesses

In a groundbreaking move, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced on Monday the launch of a state-run loan program designed to support social equity marijuana businesses. In collaboration with lending company NuProject, the Can-nabis Business Office (CBO) will provide funding through the innovative Cannabis Business Loan Program, filling the gap left by the ineligibility of marijuana businesses for traditional loan programs.

Gov. Polis highlighted the significance of the loan program, stating that it will “create and retain 239 good-paying jobs and promote equity in the cannabis industry by providing growing businesses access to funding.” The governor’s commitment to supporting small businesses in every industry is evident in this initiative, which will help Colorado maintain its reputation as an ideal location for starting and running a business.

NuProject CEO Jeannette Ward Horton expressed the company’s dedication to redirecting the flow of financing, ensuring that small business owners in the cannabis industry, particularly those historically excluded from capital access, can obtain the necessary resources to grow their businesses. She emphasized that access to financial support and expertise can lead to better businesses and the opportunity for building generational wealth through the cannabis industry.

The loans, ranging from $50,000 to $150,000, will finance renovations, expansions, equipment costs, real estate, and working capital. The program will offer favorable and manageable terms based on borrower needs. An initial $1 million investment will support the revolving loan fund, with interest collected from loan repayments being reinvested into the program. Over the next 10 years, the state expects the $1 million infusion to result in $2.9 million in lending.

Eve Liberman, executive director of the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), praised the Cannabis Business Loan Program as a trailblazer in the cannabis industry, setting a new standard for helping small business owners access essential resources. In partnership with NuProject, the Cannabis Business Office is poised to enable cannabis businesses to expand, create new jobs, and contribute to a thriving Colorado economy.

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