Audit of Los Angeles Cannabis Licensing Process Determines City Took ‘Reasonable’ Steps to Ensure Fairness
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Audit of Los Angeles Cannabis Licensing Process Determines City Took ‘Reasonable’ Steps to Ensure Fairness

A city official is now recommending that the Department of Cannabis Regulation move forward with awarding licenses to cannabis retailers.

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April 1, 2020

An audit of Los Angeles’ cannabis licensing process has determined that the city took “reasonable and appropriate” steps to ensure fairness, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

While some applicants gained early access to the online system, according to the audit, regulators prevented these applicants from having an unfair advantage in the process, the news outlet reported.

A city official is now recommending that the city’s Department of Cannabis Regulation move forward with awarding final licenses to cannabis retailers, who have been waiting since the licensing process was suspended last year, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Department of Cannabis Regulation launched this latest round of licensing in September to issue 100 additional cannabis retail licenses to social equity applicants. It was a first-come, first-serve process, and some stakeholders alleged that some applicants got early access to the online application system while others were locked out due to slow internet speeds.

Department of Cannabis Regulation Director Cat Packer indicated that two applicants did indeed gain early access due to a staff error that occurred while resetting their passwords, but that those applications were pushed back in line to where they would have been otherwise.

Nevertheless, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson called for the suspension of the licensing process in October, and Packer announced in November that her agency would not issue final retail licenses until the city completed an audit of the licensing process.