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SEED Initiatives

The Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED) Initiatives is the first program in the United States to integrate equity programming within a cannabis regulatory office.
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The New Vision

SEED Initiatives is supported by an ongoing $1 million in cannabis tax revenue allocation and a vehicle for single-source monitoring, measuring, and reporting on the city’s cannabis tax revenue

Portland City Council’s decision to allocate ongoing funding to the SEED Initiatives is one small step toward rectifying past racially-biased cannabis policies and disparate cannabis-related arrests. This commitment has the potential to begin to repair the lasting legal, social, economic, and inter-generational consequences past cannabis prohibition has had on Black and brown communities. 

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 $14 million in cannabis tax revenue has been allocated across various City of Portland bureaus to support street infrastructure improvements; DUII training; drug rehabilitation; criminal justice, expungement and re-entry services; and small 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:

SEED Grant Fund

In alignment with the Ballot Measure 26-180 passed in 2016, the SEED Grant Fund prioritizes Black, Indigenous, and people of color (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 SEED Grant Fund supports nonprofit and for-profit entities of any size, including community-based organizations, individuals, firms, teams or consultants. Newly-formed groups or initiatives with fiscal sponsorship from a nonprofit entity are also eligible. Multi-entity collaborations, coalitions and/or consortium efforts are encouraged to apply. 

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

  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship and economic development
  • Expungement

In the 4 years as a grant program, the SEED Grant Fund (formerly Cannabis Social Equity Grant) has awarded 17 grants and $1,529,415:

.2017-18 2018-19 2019-202020-21
Applications submitted 93231123
Applications awarded 36617
Grant Funds $$ awarded $350,000 $631,321 $548,094 1,800,000

The SEED Grant Fund supports projects or programs in the following priority areas, including but not limited to: 


  • Youth Training & Development 
  • Workforce Development
  • Community Education
  • Health Education
  • STEAMM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Math & Medical)

Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

  • Business incubation & acceleration
  • Business Support for Entrepreneurs
  • Co-Working Spaces
  • Networking & Mentorship


  • Criminal justice reform projects and services
  • Legal services and case management support
  • Re-entry housing support and services

SEED Initiatives Fact Sheet

2021 Grant Fund Details & Application

*Please note, the 2021 Grant Fund opportunity is currently closed. You can read the press release announcing the 2021 Grant Fund awards here and access a complete list of all grant recipients here.*

2 Funding Options Available:

  • 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. Please note, 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 also encouraged to apply. If you have experience, expertise or passion in one of the priority areas and/or provide multicultural and community-specific engagement --- this might be the funding opportunity for you!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Office of Community & Civic Life recognizes that individuals and communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition may not want to participate in the legal cannabis industry. For this reason, the SEED Grant Fund supports projects within and outside of the cannabis industry. All are eligible to apply for this funding opportunity.

The current 2021 SEED Grant Fund opportunity is currently closed. Please check back for updates on next year's grant opportunity. Any questions about this grant fund can be directed to:

2021 Funding Opportunity Announcement & Application

2021 SEED Grant Funding Opportunity Announcement

2021 SEED Grant Application

2021 Recorded Zoom SEED Grant Fund Info Session, 66 minutes

2021 SEED Grant Fund Application Timeline

  • Round 1 Applications for funding are due by Friday, October 30, 2020 by 5:00PM PST
  • Round 1 Decisions will be sent out by Monday, November 30, 2020 by 5:00PM PST – Note: those selected to move to Round 2 will be notified via email and will have two (2) weeks to complete the Round 2/final application. Round 2 extended application will be available online for preview and download by Friday, November 20, 2020.
  • Round 2/Final Applications are due by December 14, 2020 by 5:00PM PST
  • Preliminary Notification to Selected Grant Recipients will be made in late March 2021
  • 2021 SEED Grant recipient work is expected to start on July 1, 2021

Additional Questions?

Contact the Cannabis Program at

Stay Informed

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

Promote the Common Good: Civic Life is building stronger communities by supporting and empowering Portlanders. We think, act, and partner with our communities to better understand and take care of their diverse needs. We invite you to join us in this continuous, much needed work to make our communities safer and more welcoming for all.


SEED Grant Fund Coordinator