LA Reopens Verification Period for Social Equity Program Starting May 26
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LA Reopens Verification Period for Social Equity Program Starting May 26

Social equity applicants must have a prior cannabis-related arrest or conviction in California. They must also either qualify as low-income or have a cumulative residency of 10 years in a Disproportionately Impacted Area.

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May 12, 2022

Beginning May 26, the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) will reopen verification for the city’s social equity program. The 60-day window for verification will close on July 25, according to DCR.

Dispensary, delivery and cultivation licenses will be issued solely to Social Equity Individual Applicants (SEIAs) through Jan. 1, 2025, per DCR.

RELATED: Wading Through Social Equity in Los Angeles

SEIAs must have a prior cannabis-related arrest or conviction in California. They must also either qualify as low-income or have a cumulative residency of 10 years in a Disproportionately Impacted Area.

“Applicants in 2019 [who] wish to pursue a retail storefront license application as part of the Phase 3 Retail Round 2 lottery … will need to be verified again with the updated criteria in order to qualify,” according to DCR.

In 2020, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to overhaul the city’s social equity program, according to Katchko, Vitiello & Karikomi, PC. DCR states that program changes that year included revised definitions for “Low Income” and “Disproportionately Impacted Areas.”

RELATED: California Department of Cannabis Control Proposes Rule Changes

California has 1,593 total active retail licenses, including storefronts (Type 10), non-storefronts (Type 9), and microbusinesses with retail activity (Type 12), according to data that the state’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) provided to Cannabis Business Times May 9.

DCC has expanded California's active retail license count from 1,324 to 1,593—a 20.3% increase—since that agency was established July 12, 2021.

Between Jan. 1 and May 9, 2022, DCC has issued 190 total retail licenses.