June 14, 2019
From the Desk of Executive Director Cat Packer
As the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR), I want to thank you for your interest in the City’s cannabis related policies and programs for licensed commercial cannabis businesses within the City of Los Angeles.
Here at DCR, we are busy preparing for the launch of Phase 3 Licensing, which will open later this year. In preparing for this milestone, we began accepting Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Applications on May 28, 2019. Please remember that in order to be considered for Phase 3 Retail or Delivery Priority Processing, applicants must first be verified a Social Equity Program applicant -- and the deadline to submit SEP Eligibility Verification Applications is July 29, 2019. To learn more about the Program’s overview, qualifications, benefits, and the eligibility verification process, please visit our SEP webpage.
We realize that navigating the licensing process can be somewhat overwhelming to those who may be unfamiliar with government procedures, so DCR staff members are now available to provide individual appointments to assist our prospective Social Equity Program applicants with completing their Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Applications online. To make this process easier, applicants are encouraged to complete this Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Worksheet and bring it, along with their supporting documents, to their scheduled appointments. If you are interested in this service, please visit the DCR website to book your clinic appointment now.
In addition, we’re now looking forward to hosting our third Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing and Social Equity Program Stakeholder Meeting and Technical Assistance Workshop in the Valley at Madrid Theatre on Thursday, June 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. To RSVP for this workshop, please find information in the workshop flyer below.
This workshop is a part of a series of workshops to provide information related to the SEP eligibility verification process and Phase 3 Licensing -- all of the workshops in the series provide the same information and materials. To access the slide presentation and view the video from the first workshop, please click here.
Lastly, I am particularly pleased to announce the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), which seeks to retain on-call business development services for the Social Equity Program. Through the RFQ process, we will identify one or more consultants to develop and conduct business development curriculum, training, business, licensing and compliance assistance, and related services intended to support applicants and licensees eligible to participate in the Social Equity Program. Please refer to the article below for more information.
This an exciting time here in Los Angeles as we shape our commercial cannabis industry--- and we still have a lot of work to do! I look forward to continuing our work together and encourage you to stay apprised of DCR’s operations, including the upcoming licensing workshops and verification clinics, by signing up for our email alerts and monitoring for Cannabis Regulation Commission meetings.
Policy Updates and News
Los Angeles City Council Activity
On April 30, the City Council instructed DCR to request input from stakeholders regarding development of (1) minimum standards for the transfer of Social Equity Applicants’ interest in a license, (2) minimum standards for management agreements with Social Equity Applicants, and (3) options for requiring community reinvestment/social impact plans for all businesses conducting commercial cannabis activity. DCR invites all interested stakeholders to submit written comments on any of these topics by email to email@example.com through July 31, 2019. After the closing date, DCR will submit a report to the City Council with a summary of stakeholders' recommendations along with any of the department's own recommendations.
State Legislative Activity
The Department of Cannabis Regulation continues to track and engage on cannabis related California legislation.The last day for a bill to be approved by its chamber of origin in California was May 31-- this means that by May 31, a bill must have either passed the State Senate or Assembly, or it is considered dead. So far this year, over 25 cannabis related bills have passed their chamber of origin and moved on to be heard in the next. Some of the bills still being considered by the Legislature that DCR is monitoring include:
AB 37 - This bill would allow cannabis businesses to claim state 580E tax deductions. It has passed the Assembly and is being heard in the Senate.
AB 1417 - This bill would modify on-line cannabis advertising regulations. It has passed the Assembly and is being heard in the Senate.
SB 51 - This bill would create a Cannabis Limited Charter Bank and Credit Union. It has passed the Senate and is being heard in the Assembly.
SB 67 - This bill would allow temporary cannabis licenses to remain valid until September 15, or when a decision is made about the licensees annual license application. It has passed the Senate and is being heard in the Assembly.
SB 595 - This bill would create a state fee deferral or waiver program for local equity applicants or licensees. It has passed the Senate and is being heard in the Assembly.
Federal Legislative Activity
The Department of Cannabis Regulation continues to track and engage on cannabis related federal and national policy. Access to financial services is an issue of importance for the cannabis industry and DCR is monitoring all financial bills in Congress including:
HR 1595 - The Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act - This bill would allow the legal cannabis industry access to banking services. It has passed all necessary committee votes and is now awaiting a floor vote in the House of Representatives.
Social Equity Program RFQ on BAVN
DCR Releases Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Cannabis Social Equity Program
The City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation is pleased to announce the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) which seeks to retain on-call business development services for the City’s Social Equity Program. The RFQ seeks one or more consultants to develop and conduct business development curriculum, training, business, licensing and compliance assistance, and related services intended to support applicants and licensees eligible to participate in the SEP, pursuant to Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 104.20. The contract term will be up to three years. For more information and details, please click here.
RESPONSES ARE DUE FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2019 BY 2 P.M.
Social Equity Program
Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Process Now Open
DCR will accept Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Applications from Tuesday, May 28, 2019 until Monday, July 29, 2019. Verified SEP Applicants will be allowed to participate in SEP Priority Processing in Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing. DCR will not review applications submitted after Monday, July 29, 2019. If the City Council later adopts additional eligibility criteria for the Social Equity Program, DCR will provide an opportunity for individuals to be verified under the new criteria.
Individuals MUST complete the SEP Applicant Eligibility Verification process in order to participate in the Social Equity Program and to be eligible to apply for SEP Priority Processing for Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing.
The SEP Applicant Eligibility Verification process will also be used to determine eligibility for certain related programs, such as property assistance and the Fee Deferral Program, which are components of the City’s Social Equity Program.
As a part of the eligibility verification process, applicants will be required to upload various documents to prove certain eligibility criteria. At a later date, DCR will also verify that Social Equity Applicants applying for Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing maintain the requisite Equity Shares in their businesses.
DCR will process Social Equity Program Eligibility Applications as they are received and provide eligibility determinations to applicants as soon as possible. DCR will treat all applications submitted between May 28 and July 29 the same -- applicants will not receive any special priority for Phase 3 processing based upon when they submitted an eligibility verification application. Most importantly, Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification is FREE and you do not have to pay any fees to DCR or to external organizations to apply to be verified.
To learn more about the Social Equity Program, and to begin the eligibility verification process, please visit DCR’s Social Equity Program webpage.
Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Application Clinics Now Available
DCR is currently scheduling individual appointments to assist potential Social Equity Program applicants with completing their Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Applications online. Applicants are encouraged to complete this Social Equity Program Applicant Eligibility Verification - Clinic Registration Worksheet and bring it, along with their supporting documents, to their scheduled appointments. Clinic attendees with confirmed appointments are guaranteed assistance. Walk-in assistance is subject to availability. Please visit the DCR website to book your clinic appointment now.
DCR’s Social Equity Program and Phase 3 Licensing education and outreach series is in full swing. On June 4, DCR hosted our second Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing Technical Assistance Workshops in South Los Angeles, where over 200 people attended presentation at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. DCR is grateful for the support from Mayor Eric Garcetti's office, Council President Herb Wesson of Council District 10, and Councilmember Curren Price of Council District 9 whose partnerships allowed the workshop to be a great success.
During the workshop, DCR’s executive staff provided an overview of the SEP eligibility verification process and Phase 3 Licensing requirements. Following the workshop presentation, DCR staff remained to answer attendees' specific questions. The Department will continue to provide technical assistance via additional SEP licensing workshops and the aforementioned one-on-one clinics taking place throughout the City this summer.
We’re looking forward to hosting our third Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing and the Social Equity Program Stakeholder Technical Assistance Workshop in partnership with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield of Council District 3, and Councilmember Paul Koretz of Council District 5 at the Madrid Theatre in the Valley on Thursday, June 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. To RSVP for this workshop, please find information in the workshop flyer below.
This series of workshops provides information on the SEP eligibility verification process and Phase 3 licensing -- all of the workshops in the series provide the same information and materials. To access the slide presentation and view the video from the first workshop, please click here.
*** JOB ANNOUNCEMENT ***
Social Equity Program Manager
DCR is accepting applications for a Social Equity Program Manager. The selected individual will work closely with the Executive Director, both Assistant Executive Directors, and Department Staff to implement the City’s Social Equity Program. The Program’s purpose is to enable those adversely affected by the war on drugs to have equitable access to the business ownership and employment opportunities within the newly legitimized local cannabis industry. Click here to see the complete job description and application instructions. This emergency appointment is an open, exempt position.
In order to be considered, resumes must include: A description of your relevant experience; description of your role in your current and former organization(s); at least one major professional accomplishment in which you played a key role; and any other relevant experiences or unique characteristics which could further qualify you for this position.
Please include a completed City Application with your submission. Upon submission of the application documents, applicants may be asked to complete a supplemental questionnaire. Only the most qualified candidates will be invited to the next phase of the selection process, which may include a written exercise and an interview. This position is open until a sufficient number of applications have been received. Please contact City Clerk Personnel at
(213) 978-1100 for any inquiries. Submit your application/resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This position is OPEN until filled.
The More You Know
DCR Information Now Available in Over 100 Languages
All of the details included in this bulletin, as well as every page on the DCR website, are now available in over 100 different languages through the Google Translate feature found at the top right corner of the DCR website. Just click on the word “Translate” and choose your language.
DCR also provides English-to-Spanish translators and Spanish-speaking staff at our various workshops and one-on-one clinics.
We have translated our first brochure, Guide to Adult-Use Cannabis a Sales Consumption Within the City of Los Angeles into Spanish! It is available to print here.
Cannabis Regulation Commission
The Cannabis Regulation Commission holds public hearings related to the issuance of Licenses to engage in commercial cannabis activity. In addition, the Commission may recommend to the City Council amendments to the City's Rules and Regulations. To learn more, please visit the Commission webpage.
Helpful Resources & Information
The City of Los Angeles has established Rules and Regulations regarding licensed cannabis retailers. For example, did you know that the following activities are prohibited at the business premises of a legal cannabis business?
- The sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products
- The consumption of cannabis and alcohol
- The issuance of physician recommendations or approvals
- The giving away of free samples
Know what to expect when patronizing a licensed retailer by familiarizing yourself with this information from the DCR website.
For information on What’s Legal and What’s Not, as well as health and prevention resources in your area, check out our Resources webpage.
Please remember that although California legalized cannabis in 2018 -- not every cannabis activity is lawful; and even when following the law, it's just as important to practice responsible behavior. For more information about what’s legal and how to stay responsible, please check out these videos, courtesy of our friends at LACityview35.
|Credit: LACityview35||DCR Featured in LA This Week|
Authorized Cannabis Retailers are required to comply with State and Local standards that require that cannabis products be tested for harmful pesticides and toxins. Find your nearest authorized commercial cannabis retailer with the click of a button on our interactive map at cannabis.lacity.org/legal-businesses.
-To lodge a complaint about any cannabis activity in the City of Los Angeles - licensed or unlicensed, please use DCR’s complaint portal.
-To get the latest information from the Department of Cannabis Regulation,
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