For Immediate Release: June 14, 2019
Request for Qualifications seeking business development services issued
The City of Los Angeles Social Equity Program is designed to ensure that disproportionately impacted individuals and communities in the City have fair and meaningful access to the new economic opportunities afforded by the legalization and commercialization of the cannabis industry.
The City of Los Angeles has established a licensing and regulatory program that seeks to center equity by assisting Social Equity Program applicants and participants in the licensing process -- State and local law require businesses to have both a state license and local authorization to engage in lawful commercial cannabis activity within the City of Los Angeles.
Within the City’s licensing and regulatory program, the SEP offers priority application processing and various types of business support to individuals who have been disproportionately impacted by the previous criminalization of cannabis-related activity.
“The Social Equity Program is one tool the City of Los Angeles is using to begin to acknowledge and repair the harm caused by the War on Drugs and the disparate enforcement of cannabis prohibition. The goal of the Social Equity Program is to promote equitable ownership and employment opportunities in the cannabis industry in order to decrease disparities in life outcomes for marginalized communities, and to address the disproportionate impacts of the War on Drugs in those communities,” said Cat Packer, Executive Director of the Cannabis Regulation Department.
In order to participate in SEP related programming, applicants must first be verified as eligible participants. On May 28, 2019 the Department commenced the SEP Eligibility Verification Application process which will remain open until July 29th for the next sequence of application processing --Phase 3 Round 1 and Round 2 priority processing.
DCR has already begun to conduct technical assistance via SEP and Licensing Workshops and is offering one-on-one clinics to assist potentially eligible applicants through the eligibility verification process. With the recently released RFQ the Department seeks to exponentially expand business support through the use of on-call consultants.
“The Social Equity Program is a priority for the City of Los Angeles and my office. It is a conscious effort to honor those subjected to punitive actions by the criminal justice system. With the commencement of the RFQ coupled with ongoing DCR support services to provide assistance to potential Social Equity applicants, I look forward to the success of the program and hope the outcomes will create an equal and just playing field for those impacted by the War on Drugs,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The initial submission deadline to the RFQ is Friday, July 12, 2019 at 2:00 PM. The Los Angeles City Council has adopted a budget policy to appropriate $3 million per year for three years to support the Social Equity Program and the services offered by this RFQ.
The RFQ contract term shall commence on or around August 1, 2019. The anticipated schedule for the consultation selection and more information on the RFQ can be found here.
For more information on the Department of Cannabis Regulation and the Social Equity Program visit www.cannabis.lacity.org
Established in 2017, the DCR is responsible for administering licensed Commercial Cannabis Business within the City of Los Angeles. The DCR administers the business license application process, makes determinations related to cannabis licensing, administers and coordinates audits and inspections, and assists in the enforcement of regulatory compliance of businesses engaged in Commercial Cannabis activity. The DCR is also responsible for the oversight, implementation and maintenance of the City’s Social Equity Program.