May 24, 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.
The past two weeks have been very busy for the DCR! Last Tuesday, on May 14th, the Department participated in the inaugural meeting of the Mayor’s Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce, an internal group comprised of multiple city agencies working collaboratively to combat illegal cannabis activity in the City of Los Angeles. On Thursday May 16th, the Department held its first of many stakeholder meetings and technical assistance workshops to share information on Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing and the Social Equity Program-more than 700 individuals were in attendance! As promised, theworkshop presentation and video links can be found in this bulletin. Furthermore, on May 23rd, the Department of Cannabis Regulation participated in the Cannabis Regulation Commission meeting where DCR provided a report regarding the status of the City’s cannabis licensing and regulatory program and the development and implementation of the Social Equity Program.
We’ve also been steadily preparing for the launch of Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing. Next week, on Tuesday, May 28th, the DCR will open the much anticipated Social Equity Program (SEP) Eligibility Verification Process. Potential Social Equity Applicants MUST complete the SEP Applicant Eligibility Verification Process in order to be eligible to apply for SEP Priority Processing in Phase 3 Retail and Delivery licensing. Please find information about the SEP Eligibility Verification Process below. DCR will both update our website and send an email blast to folks on our listserv when the submission window officially commences.
We also look forward to hosting the second Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing and the Social Equity Program stakeholder meeting and technical assistance workshop, on Wednesday, June 5th from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, Council President Herb Wesson of Council District 10, and Councilmember Curren Price of Council District 9 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Theater. To RSVP for this workshop, please find information below.
With these latest developments, and many others to come, we will continue to expand our ability to serve our diverse stakeholders and look forward to the continued emergence of the City of L.A. as a local and global leader in cannabis policy, licensing and regulation.
I look forward to our continued work together and encourage you to stay apprised of DCR’s operations, including upcoming licensing workshops and events, by signing up for our email alerts and monitoring for Cannabis Regulation Commission meetings.
Policy Updates and News
City Council Approves Budget for the DCR Social Equity Program and the Public Information Campaign
The Department is extremely grateful to Mayor Garcetti, Council President Herb Wesson, the members of the Los Angeles City Council Budget and Finance Committee and the members of the Los Angeles City Council, for their leadership and commitment towards funding the Department of Cannabis Regulation’s FY 19-20 budget request of $3 million for the Social Equity Program’s Business, Licensing and Compliance Assistance Program and up to $1 million for a Public Information Campaign. Funding DCR is an investment in long-term revenue generation for the City and, most importantly, a commitment to creating an equitable outlook for the City’s commercial cannabis industry. The Social Equity Program is one of the most progressive in the nation, intended to acknowledge the damages inflicted by the failed war on drugs, which disproportionately affected some of our most vulnerable communities.
Mayor’s Enforcement Task Force
Mayor Garcetti’s Office convened the first internal City-wide Cannabis Enforcement Task Force on May 14. This interdepartmental task force is led by Deputy Mayor Billy Chun, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (MOED), and Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell, Mayor’s Office of Public Safety (MOPS). The task force is comprised of representatives from DCR along with the Department of Building and Safety (DBS), the Department of City Planning (DCP), the Information Technology Agency (ITA), the Office of Finance (OOF), the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Los Angeles Police Commission, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), and the City Attorney’s Office. Together in this task force, these departments will oversee a coordinated and comprehensive strategy for shutting down illegal cannabis retail and cultivation in communities throughout Los Angeles, expanding on various enforcement policies taken by the Los Angeles City Council.
The task force will be rolling out a proposed strategy for approval from the Mayor within the next several months, and reporting regularly on the successful closure of illegal operators.
The Los Angeles City Council has adopted resolutions of support for the following cannabis related bills:
AB 1417: If passed, this bill will refine cannabis advertising and marketing regulations.
SB 51: If passed, this bill will create a Cannabis Limited Charter Banking and Credit Union to give the California cannabis industry access to some limited banking.
SB 67: If passed, this bill will make temporary state licenses valid until either January 1, 2020, or when a licensee is either approved or denied an annual license.
AB 1076: If passed, this bill will direct the Department of Justice to regularly review the State’s criminal history information database and identify persons eligible for criminal record relief. This includes some cannabis convictions.
A number of cannabis bills in the Assembly and Senate have passed their committee votes and are awaiting floor votes. Some of these bills include:
AB 37: If passed, this bill will allow cannabis operators to claim business expenses on state tax returns.
AB 1417: If passed, this bill will refine cannabis advertising and marketing regulations. It has the support of the City of Los Angeles.
AB 1076: If passed, this bill will direct the Department of Justice to regularly review the State’s criminal history information database and identify persons eligible for criminal record relief. This includes some cannabis convictions. It has the support of the City of Los Angeles.
SB 595: If passed, this bill will provide state fee deferrals to qualified local social equity applicants.
In addition, SB 51, a bill that, if passed, will create a state cannabis charter bank and credit union, passed its floor vote in the Senate and has moved on to the Assembly. It is supported by the City of Los Angeles.
The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019, otherwise known as the SAFE Banking Act, is expected to come up for a floor vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week. If passed, the SAFE Act will grant banking access to the licensed cannabis industry nationwide.
DCR is happy to announce that we have kicked-off our education and outreach series. We will continue to host a number of Social Equity ProgramStakeholder Meetings and Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing Technical Assistance Workshops around the City throughout the Summer. On Thursday, May 16th, DCR held the first Workshop in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, Councilmember Marqueese Harris-Dawson of Council District 8 and Councilmember Joe Buscaino of Council District 15, at Los Angeles Southwest College. To access the slide presentation and view the video from this workshop please click here.
DCR looks forward to hosting our second Social Equity Program- Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing Technical Assistance Workshop in partnership Mayor’s Office, Council President Herb Wesson of Council District 10, and Councilmember Curren Price of Council District 9 on Wednesday, June 5th from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Theater located in the Ebony Repertory Theatre. To RSVP for this workshop, please find information in the workshop flyer below.
Social Equity Program
Announcement: Social Equity Program (SEP) Eligibility Verification Process shall begin on Tuesday, May 28, 2019
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.
DCR will accept Social Equity Program Eligibility Applications from Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 until Monday, July 29th, 2019 through our online application portal. 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 29th, 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.
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 28th and July 29th 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 to apply to be verified.
On Tuesday, May 28th, DCR will send an email blast to members of our listserve about the Social Equity Program (SEP) Eligibility Verification Process and will provide additional resources and a link to the online application on our website.
In the interim, to learn more about the Social Equity Program, please visit DCR’s Social Equity webpage.
*** JOB ANNOUNCEMENT ***
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.
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.
The next regularly scheduled Cannabis Regulation Commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 13 at 2 p.m. at a location to be determined.
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.
Find Authorized Retailers
To purchase cannabis products tested for harmful pesticides and toxins, be sure to patronize authorized retailers. 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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