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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 114, Portland, OR 97204

Portland Cannabis Program | Social Equity & Educational Development Initiatives

 Community-based initiatives funded by Portland's adult-use cannabis tax revenue


The New Vision  

Supported by an ongoing $1 million in cannabis tax revenue allocation, Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED) Initiatives was launched in 2020 and is the cannabis program’s vehicle for the single-source monitoring, measuring & reporting on the city’s cannabis tax revenue (specifically the 3% excise tax). In the United States, it is the first equity program of its kind integrated within the cannabis regulatory office. The 1st annual SEED Initiatives Report, which will detail the city’s historical cannabis tax revenue “return on equity investment” --with specific focus on FY 2019-20 activities--will be released in March 2021. 

Through community engagement, feedback from previous cycles and insights from the May 2019 Cannabis Tax Revenue Audit, SEED Initiatives was developed to include a larger grant fund and supporting initiatives during this pilot year. The 2021 SEED Grant Fund, now in the 4th year of the grant fund, will have $800,000 available in grants. Another $200,000 from SEED Initiatives funding will be dedicated to COBID-certified vendor contracts for the pilot SEED Technical Assistance Program, designed to support SEED Grant Fund recipients from day one. 

SEED Grant Fund – Application Available NOW! 

In alignment with the Ballot Measure 26-180 passed in 2016, the SEED Grant Fund prioritizes BIPOC and women led/owned small business initiatives AND/OR projects, programs or services that support economic and educational development of Black and Brown communities, which were most impacted by cannabis prohibition. The grant fund is one small step for the City in acknowledging and addressing the decades of harm caused to Black, Indigenous, and communities of color by cannabis criminalization and stigmatization. 

For the 2021 Funding Cycle, $800,000 is available for the SEED Grant Fund. The Office of Community & Civic Life will reinvest cannabis tax revenue back into the community through the following grants:

  • Four (4) one-time grants at $75,000 total per grant
  • TWO (2) two-year grants at $250,000 total per grant ($125,000 per year)

The SEED Grant Fund seeks applications from non-profit and for-profit entities, of any size. This includes community-based organizations, individuals, firms, teams, or consultants. Newly formed groups or initiatives with fiscal sponsorship from a non-profit entity are also eligible to apply. Multi-entity collaborations, coalitions and/or consortium efforts are encouraged to apply. 

The SEED Grant Fund will distribute funding across a range of projects, programs and services within the following designated priority areas: 


Round 1 Applications must be submitted via email in WORD or PDF format by: 


Friday, October 30, 2020 at 5PM PST   

Submit applications and refer questions to: 

Dasheeda Dawson, Cannabis Program Supervisor  

For more information about the 2021 SEED Grant Fund and to download the application click HERE 


The History  

In November 2016, Portland voters approved Ballot Measure 26-180 to impose a 3% local tax on adult-use cannabis retail sales.  

Since then, over $14of cannabis tax revenue has been allocated across various bureaus supporting street infrastructure improvements; DUII training; drug rehabilitation; criminal justice, expungement and re-entry services; small business support, economic opportunity, and technical assistance for business owners from communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. For more detailed information about the history of Portland's local cannabis tax, please review these additional resources:  

These reports include information about the original ballot measure that authorized Portland's 3% local cannabis tax, the historical allocations that have been made through fiscal year 2019-20, recommendations for how Portland's local cannabis tax ought to be approached moving forward and more.  

Racially-biased cannabis policies and disparate cannabis-related arrests, convictions, and sentencing have had long lasting legal, social, economic, and inter-generational consequences to Black and brown communities. In June 2020, an ongoing portion of the cannabis tax revenue was allocated by the Portland City Council to the Office of Community & Civic Life’s Cannabis Program to rectify some of these past harms and to reinvest in these communities directly.  

Stay informed about upcoming grant funding, educational development events, ongoing opportunities to help us identify priorities, and other activities related to the Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED) Initiatives and the Cannabis Program by: 

Additional Questions?  

Email Dasheeda Dawson, Cannabis Program Supervisor at