Art by: Alaina, the Muse.

The Cannabis Workers Coalition in partnership with the City of Portland’s Cannabis Program and NuLeaf Project is proud to announce the Cannabis Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) to support cannabis employees who were directly impacted by COVID-19, increased vandalism, and crime, and the 2020 wildfires. The Cannabis Emergency Relief Fund will provide one-time grants of 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.

Read through some of our past grantee’s stories to see how their award has helped them.

“Since March 2020 I’ve lost two part-time jobs due to COVID related issues and I had to move out of my studio apartment and incurred debt because I couldn’t afford it.

Havng to work through the protests, the break-in’s at my shop and the constant thought of someone robbing myself and my coworkers at gunpoint have all been at the forefront of my mental turbulence. I’ve been experiencing more mental health breakdowns, fatigue and feelings of hopelessness. Having to grin & bare it while everyone else has support, resources or unemployment to depend on– I’ve been stuck in a never ending loop of work and world related stresses.

I’m hoping that if given this grant, I can use it to take care of myself and get some quality time in with my family so that I can rest up and keep beng a light for my peers.”

– Miesha, 2022 CERF Grantee

“I was out of work for the entire month of January after catching COVID. Missing an entire month of income really bottomed me out.

The grant funds not only helped me to even out  my finances, but I had to borrow money from family and friends while I was quarentining, and these funds allowed me to pay them back faster.

Having these funds specifically designated for marginalized communities, specifically within the cananbis industry, it is so incredibly helpful and truly a lifesaver for myself and other individuals.”

– Jesse, 2022 CERF Grantee

“I’ve been in the industry for about 5 years now. Working as a budtender has provided me with a schedule that allows me to spend time with my 6 year old daughter.

October of 2019 I was working a closing shift and and we ended up getting held-up at gunpoint and robbed. I had never had that happen to me before. They were warning mask like any criminal would, so I’m sure no justice came about. Then a few months later BAM, COVID19. Now everybody, everywhere is wearing a mask.

I struggled with this for about 8 months. Thinking if should switch career paths and find something more slow pace. But considering my living situation at the time, it was VERY difficult to find a job that paid enough, and also had a flexible schedule.”

– Eelaron, 2022 CERF Grantee


The CERF grant has been made possible in part by a grant from the City of Portland, Office of Community & Civic Life.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the City of Portland.