Business Licensing

Links to additional City of Los Angeles Commercial Cannabis Licensing/Permitting websites:

The application filing period for Proposition M Priority Processing ended effective Monday, March 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The application filing period for Proposition M Priority Processing ended on Monday, March 5, 2018 at 12:00AM Pacific Standard Time (PST). Applications for Proposition M Priority Processing will no longer be accepted by the Department. The Department will continue to process applications submitted by 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST) on Sunday, March 4, 2018.

Applicants attempting to submit an application after the deadline will receive the following error message:

Prop M Priority Application Period Closed

Application Processing Phases

The Department of Cannabis Regulation, in conjunction with the Cannabis Regulation Commission, will license businesses engaging in commercial cannabis activity within the City of Los Angeles.

In order to transition current operators to a regulated commercial market, DCR will begin to issue Temporary Approval to qualified applicants.  Temporary Approval will give qualified applicants “Local Authorization” and furthermore will allow qualified applicants to continue to operate with limited-immunity until the applicant receives final approval for a License or final denial of a License and has exhausted all administrative appeals.

Generally, DCR will begin processing applications to engage in commercial cannabis activity in 3 phases.

Phase 1 - Ended effective Monday, March 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM

  • DCR will accept and process applications for “Proposition M Priority Processing” as described in Section 104.07 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. "Proposition M Priority Processing” will start at the discretion of DCR and end 60 days after it begins.

Phase 2

  • DCR will accept and process applications for “Non-Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity Prior to January 1, 2016 Processing” as described in Section 104.08 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. “Non-Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity Prior to January 1, 2016 Processing”  will start at the discretion of DCR and end on April 1, 2018.

Phase 3

  • DCR will accept and process applications for Commercial Cannabis Activity for the general public.

For more information about DCR’s application and licensing process please review Los Angeles’ Cannabis Ordinances.

Information on Proposition M Priority Processing

The application filing period for Proposition M Priority Processing ended on Monday, March 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM.

What is Proposition M Priority Processing?

Proposition M Priority Processing means an application filed by an EMMD (Existing Medical Marijuana Dispensary) pursuant to the priority processing for EMMD dispensaries as provided by Measure M, adopted by the voters of the City of Los Angeles on March 7, 2017 and Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 104.07.

Why is the City prioritizing the processing of EMMDs’ applications for commercial cannabis activity?

According to Measure M: “The City’s designated licensing or permitting agency shall give priority in processing applications of EMMDS that can demonstrate that the EMMD has operated in compliance with the limited immunity and tax provisions of Proposition D  To avail itself of the terms of this Section, including the priority processing, an EMMD must apply for a City permit or license within sixty calendar days of the first date that applications are made available for commercial cannabis activity.” 

Do I qualify for Proposition M Priority Processing?

To qualify for Proposition M Priority Processing an applicant must be an EMMD that is in compliance with all restrictions of Proposition D, notwithstanding those restrictions are or would have been repealed, including, but not limited to, either possessing a 2017 L050 BTRC and current with all City-owed business taxes, or received a BTRC in 2007, registered with the City Clerk by November 13, 2007 (in accordance with the requirements under Interim Control Ordinance 179027), received a L050 BTRC in 2016 or 2016 and submits payment for all City-owed business taxes before the License application is deemed complete.
In making its determination, DCR shall consider whether the EMMD Applicant cured any non-substantive administrative violations in C through F, and M under LAMC Section 45.19.6.3.

What licenses can an EMMD applicant apply for?

EMMD Applicants may apply for a maximum of one: Microbusiness License (Type 12); a maximum combination of one Retailer License (Type 10); one delivery for Retailer License (Type 10);  one Distributor License – Self Transport Only License (Type 11), one Manufacturer License (Type 6 Only) and one Cultivation, Indoor License (Type 1A, 1C, 2A, or 3A) for the one location identified in its original or amended BTRC and as demonstrated in previous Commercial Cannabis Activity as of March 7, 2017.

Examples of Permissible Combinations of License(s) and Activities:

Example 1:

  • Microbusiness License with the following activities:
    • Retailer OR Delivery Only
    • Cultivation, Indoor
    • Level 1 Manufacturer
    • Distribution Transport Only

Example 2:

  • Retailer License
  • Cultivation, Indoor License
  • Level 1 Manufacturer License
  • Distribution Transport Only License

Example 3:

  • Delivery Only License
  • Cultivation, Indoor License
  • Level 1 Manufacturer License
  • Distribution Transport Only License

How will DCR make determinations of eligibility for Prop M Priority Processing?

DCR’s determination of whether an EMMD is eligible for Proposition M Priority Processing shall be made with no hearing and shall be final and effective upon the close of the 15-day appeal period if not timely appealed to the Commission by the EMMD Applicant, as provided in SEC. 104.10. In making its determination, DCR may request additional information from the EMMD Applicant. In making its determination, DCR shall make written findings regarding whether the EMMD Applicant complies with the requirements for priority processing for EMMDs. In determining whether an EMMD Applicant meets the requirements for priority processing, DCR shall consider whether the EMMD Applicant cured any non-substantive administrative violations in C through F, and M under LAMC Section 45.19.6.3.

How long will it take for an EMMD to receive Temporary Approval for Commercial Cannabis Activity after submitting its application?

The Department of Cannabis Regulation is working to issue Temporary Approval to Existing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in an expeditious, responsible manner.
Before DCR will issue an EMMD Temporary Approval, DCR must receive an EMMD Applicant’s application for Proposition M Priority Processing and determine whether an Applicant is eligible for Proposition M Priority Processing as described in Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 104.07.
Once DCR deems a Proposition M Priority Processing Application is complete and eligible for a Proposition M Priority Processing, DCR will send the EMMD Applicant an invoice detailing further instructions for Temporary Approval issuance.

What if my application for Proposition M Priority Processing is denied?

DCR’s determination of whether an EMMD is eligible for Proposition M Priority Processing shall be made with no hearing and shall be final and effective upon the close of the 15-day appeal period if not timely appealed to the Commission by the EMMD Applicant, as provided in SEC. 104.10.

If Proposition M Priority Processing is denied by DCR and, if appealed to Commission also denied by Commission, the EMMD shall immediately cease all Commercial Cannabis Activity at the Business Premises and the EMMD Applicant shall not be entitled to the limited immunity from prosecution afforded by Proposition D.

Can I appeal DCR’s Proposition M Priority Processing Determination of Eligibility?

An EMMD applicant may appeal DCR’s determination of whether an EMMD Applicant is eligible for Proposition M Priority Processing, as provided in Section 104.10 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

For more information on the Appeals process please review Section 104.10 of the Cannabis Procedures Ordinance (Ordinance No. 185343).

How do I apply for Proposition M Priority Processing?

EMMD Applicants should click here to apply for Proposition M Priority Processing.

What is limited immunity?

Limited Immunity is immunity from prosecution under specified laws. It does not make the conduct legal, but means that the person conducting the illegal activity will not be prosecuted for it under the specified laws.

Do Proposition D compliant Existing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries have limited immunity?

An EMMD that as of January 1, 2018, meets all of the Proposition D requirements shall continue to have limited immunity up until the time the EMMD receives Temporary Approval. The limited immunity shall terminate if the EMMD Applicant fails to seek or obtain a Temporary Approval, although the limited immunity shall be extended through any appeal of the Temporary Approval denial.

The limited immunity shall be as follows: the EMMD shall not be subject to the remedies set forth in Los Angeles Municipal Code Sections 11.00 or 12.27.1 solely on the basis of engaging in medical Commercial Cannabis Activity, provided however that, as authorized by California Health and Safety Code Section 11362.83, this limited immunity is available and may be asserted as an affirmative defense so long as the requirements of this Sections are adhered to by the EMMD and only by an EMMD at the one Business Premises operated by the EMMD. This limited immunity shall not be available to and shall not be asserted as an affirmative defense to any violation of law except as expressly set forth in Section 104.05 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. Further, nothing contained in this limited immunity is intended to provide or shall be asserted as a defense to a claim for violation of law brought by any county, state or federal authority.

I don’t qualify for Proposition M Priority Processing, when and how can I apply for a Temporary Approval or a License to engage in Commercial Cannabis Activity within the City of Los Angeles?

The Department of Cannabis Regulation is only accepting applications for Proposition M priority processing at this time.

The Department of Cannabis Regulation is not accepting applications from the general public at this time. Please sign up or check back periodically, for updates.  In the interim, please review the City’s Cannabis Ordinances.

The State of California requires business applicants to provide documentation of local authorization to receive a Temporary and Annual License. How do I receive local authorization from the City of Los Angeles?

The Department of Cannabis Regulation will verify and confirm local authorization for business applicants that have received either a Temporary Approval or License from the Department of Cannabis Regulation.