Seventeen Chaffee County nonprofit organizations and public sector entities were awarded a total of $245,550 through the Chaffee County marijuana excise tax-funded 2022 competitive grant cycle.

Grant funding will help bolster programs and projects across the county that align with community priority focus areas of human services and youth programs, public health (including mental health), workforce housing, and the regulation of marijuana and other drugs. A seven-member volunteer board, the Marijuana Excise Tax Advisory Board (METAB), is charged with evaluating the grant applications each year and providing funding recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC).

The METAB-advised grants are funded through an excise tax levied on the first sale or transfer of unprocessed retail marijuana in the County. The ballot referendum authorizing the excise tax was approved by Chaffee County voters in 2016 and became effective in January 2017. Over the past six years, the METAB grants program has distributed $1,226,127 to local nonprofit organizations and public programs.

Chaffee County’s marijuana excise tax revenues were down almost 40% in Q4 2021-Q3 2022 compared to the prior 12 months, meaning the METAB had substantially less funding to offer in this year’s grant cycle than last year. In order to help create simpler opportunities to access support and more widely distribute the limited funds, the METAB introduced a new mini-grant program in 2022 for requests with budgets of $5,000 or less. The mini-grant program proved popular for applicants, with 24% of the proposals received seeking the smaller scale support.

The Chaffee County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the METAB’s 2022 grant recommendations at their December 6th regular meeting. Grant awards spanned the mission areas allowable within the grant-making program, including:

  • Workforce and Family Housing ($61,000; 25% of total grants)
    • Chaffee County Habitat for Humanity – Spartan Heights Build – $20,000
    • Chaffee County Hospitality Inc for Family Emergency Housing – $16,000
    • Chaffee County Human Services’ Family Stability Program – $20,000
    • Chaffee Housing Trust for Capacity Building – $5,000
  • Youth-Focused Programs ($102,000; 42% of total grants)
    • Boys and Girls Club of Chaffee County for Youth Programs – $20,000
    • Boys and Girls Club of Chaffee County for Junior Workforce Training – $5,000
    • elevateHER for Youth Outdoor Programs – $20,000
    • elevateHER for Mentorship and Workforce Development for Youth – $5,000
    • Family and Youth Initiatives for Chaffee County Mentor Program – $20,000
    • GARNA for Mobile Gear Library Youth Program – $20,000
    • Guidestone for Youth Career Pathways in Agriculture Education – $11,000
    • Salida Sunrise Rotary for Dolly Parton Imagination Library – $1,000
  • Human Services ($62,550; 25% of total grants)
    • Achieve, Inc. for 2023 Neurodivergent Employment Program – $20,000
    • The Alliance for Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Services – $20,000
    • Chaffee Shuttle Neighbor to Neighbor Matching Funds Project – $10,050
    • Full Circle Restorative Justice for Program Operations – $12,500
  • Public Health (including Mental Health) ($20,000; 8% of total grants)
    • Chaffee County Public Health for Aging Well Program – $20,000

Programs supporting regulation of marijuana and enforcement of drug laws are also eligible for METAB grant funding, but no applications were received for this category. 

METAB’s next grant cycle will open in late summer 2023.

About The Marijuana Excise Tax Advisory Board (METAB)

The Marijuana Excise Tax Advisory Board (METAB) was established following Chaffee County voters’ approval of a marijuana excise tax in November 2016 and was then ratified in August 2017 by the County Commissioners via Resolution 2017-46.

The County Commissioners appointed a seven-member board to guide the excise tax-funded grant program, supporting the Chaffee County community through initiatives focused on human services (including youth services); public health (including mental health); workforce and family housing; and the regulation of marijuana and other drugs.

METAB has awarded over $1.2 million dollars in grants to local nonprofits and public sector entities since 2017 through its annual community grants program.