GREAT BARRINGTON — Applications are now being accepted for grants from the town’s Community Impact Fund (CIF). Applications are due Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. at Town Hall. More details and application paperwork can be found here.
For the 2022 fiscal year, the town has earmarked $350,000 for distribution among qualifying organizations, individuals, town committees, and town departments seeking support for community benefit projects.
Applications will be reviewed by the town’s Community Impact Fund committee, which then makes recommendations to the town manager. The town’s Community Impact Fund receives 3 percent of gross sales at cannabis dispensaries in Great Barrington.
The CIF committee has prioritized the following categories for funding consideration:
- Health and safety education, particularly for youth. Negative health impacts from cannabis have been established, especially in adolescents whose brains have not fully developed. With dispensaries in highly visible locations in town, and the increased possibility that cannabis use is occurring in homes, youth need reliable education regarding cannabis more than ever. For adults who struggle with substance use, the impact of readily available cannabis needs to be addressed.
- Social engagement and community building. Cannabis use is often associated with isolation, so there is now a greater need for promoting social engagement and community building.
- Town reputation. As one of the first towns in Massachusetts with dispensaries, Great Barrington has earned substantial attention for the prominence of this business sector. Some residents are concerned that the town is now strongly associated with its cannabis dispensaries.
- Infrastructure/parking. Dispensaries have increased traffic (both pedestrian and vehicular), as well as demand for parking and public amenities in town.
- Criminal justice. People of color continue to be disproportionately impacted by convictions related to past cannabis laws.
Priority is given to organizations based in Great Barrington and programs that benefit a large number of people, especially Great Barrington residents.
Applications should be sent via email to Amy Pulver, office administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Paper applications may be dropped off at Great Barrington Town Hall, located at 334 Main Street.