This page provides information related to the commercial cannabis activity license application procedures within the City of Los Angeles. The Department of Cannabis Regulation has developed a series of resources to assist applicants and licensees in the application process.

 

Public Convenience or Necessity 

Pre-Application Review 

Temporary Approval 

Application Modification

Video Tutorials


 

Notice to Department of Cannabis Regulation Industry Professionals

If you are compensated to interact with the Department of Cannabis Regulation, City law may require you to register as a lobbyist and report your activity. Any individual may qualify as a lobbyist, regardless of occupation, education, training, or professional title. A lobbyist may hold a position that includes but is not limited to attorney, CEO, consultant, government liaison, business owner, permit applicant, engineer, scientist, grower, processor, cultivator, dispensary employee, marketer, packaging servicer and deliverer.

More information is available online through the Ethics Commission’s lobbying program and publication pages. For assistance, please contact the Ethics Commission.

 

Notice of “Local Compliance Underway” letters. Recent ordinance amendments separated DCR’s Temporary Approval process from the State’s licensing process. Proof of a State license is no longer a prerequisite for Temporary Approval. Therefore, DCR is no longer providing standalone letters or Notices of Local Compliance Underway. DCR will assign a status of “Local Compliance Underway” to DCR Licensing Portal records in accordance with the Temporary Approval workflow and information and procedure bulletin. Applicants will receive an email when their record status is updated to “Local Compliance Underway” along with information related to the Initial Inspection process. DCR will subsequently report a status of “Local Compliance Underway” directly to the Department of Cannabis Control as part of the State’s provisional licensing process.


 

Public Convenience or Necessity (PCN) Workflow and Procedure

The Cannabis Procedures Ordinance limits the number of Retail, Cultivation and Volatile-Manufacturing Commercial Cannabis Activity Licenses by Community Plan Area (CPA) based on the definition of Undue Concentration under Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) Section 104.01(a)(48). An area is considered unduly concentrated when DCR issues the maximum number of these license types in that CPA. 

The following Community Plan Areas have reached Undue Concentration:

  • Central City
  • Central City North
  • Harbor-Gateway
  • Sherman Oaks - Studio City-Toluca Lake-Cahuenga Pass
  • Sun Valley - La Tuna Canyon
  • Venice

Applicants seeking to engage in Retail, Cultivation and Volatile-Manufacturing Commercial Cannabis Activity in a CPA that is unduly concentrated are required to file a request that the City Council find that approval of the License application would serve a public convenience or necessity (PCN) supported by evidence in the record pursuant to LAMC Section 104.03(a)(4).

The City Council adopted standards to be used in their assessment and determination of a finding of public convenience or necessity.

 

These Workflow and Bulletin documents have been temporarily removed pending updates to the Los Angeles Municipal Code and DCR's own Rules and Regulations. Watch this space for updates.

 

To access the forms associated with the Public Convenience or Necessity Process click here

On November 5th, 2020 the City of Los Angeles Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee met and discussed DCR's PCN process.

For a PDF of DCR's November 5th 2020 presentation to the PLUM Committee click here.
For the November 5th, 2020 PLUM Committee audio click here.

Notice of “Local Compliance Underway” letters. Recent ordinance amendments separated DCR’s Temporary Approval process from the State’s licensing process. Proof of a State license is no longer a prerequisite for Temporary Approval. Therefore, DCR is no longer providing standalone letters or Notices of Local Compliance Underway. DCR will assign a status of “Local Compliance Underway” to DCR Licensing Portal records in accordance with the Temporary Approval workflow and information and procedure bulletin. Applicants will receive an email when their record status is updated to “Local Compliance Underway” along with information related to the Initial Inspection process. DCR will subsequently report a status of “Local Compliance Underway” directly to the Department of Cannabis Control as part of the State’s provisional licensing process.


 

Pre-Application Review Workflow and Procedure

Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) Section 104.03(a) requires that prior to filing an application to engage in Commercial Cannabis Activity, an Applicant must successfully complete the Pre-Application Review process. The Pre-Application Review process requires that the Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) verify eligibility of Primary Personnel subject to a background review pursuant to LAMC Section 104.03(a)(1) and verify that Owners applying for the license are not disqualified under LAMC Section 104.03(a)(2). Please note that until LiveScan is available, DCR will accept attestations regarding compliance with LAMC Section 104.03(a)(1).

In addition, DCR must also verify that the Business Premises location is eligible for Licensure under LAMC Section 104.03(a)(3).

DCR has developed resources related to Pre-Application Review process to assist applicants and licensees in the application process and to increase transparency in DCR’s administration of the Cannabis Procedures Ordinance.

These Workflow and Bulletin documents have been temporarily removed pending updates to the Los Angeles Municipal Code and DCR's own Rules and Regulations. Watch this space for updates.

Click here to access the forms associated with the Pre-Application Review Process. Please review the Pre-Application Review Information and Procedure Bulletin for additional documents required to be submitted by the applicant during this process.

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Temporary Approval Workflow and Procedure

Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 104.01(a)(47) defines Temporary Approval as a DCR-issued temporary license that authorizes an Applicant to engage for a limited period of time in Commercial Cannabis Activity as would be permitted under the privileges of a non-temporary license of the same type. An Applicant with Temporary Approval is required to follow all applicable Rules and Regulations as would be required if the Applicant held a non-temporary License of the same type.

DCR has developed resources related to Temporary Approval to assist applicants and licensees in the application process and to increase transparency in DCR’s administration of the Cannabis Procedures Ordinance. 

These Workflow and Bulletin documents have been temporarily removed pending updates to the Los Angeles Municipal Code and DCR's own Rules and Regulations. Watch this space for updates.

If applicable Applicants and Licensees subject to Section 104.20 shall also provide all information, business records and agreements necessary to demonstrate that the Social Equity Individual Applicant owns the minimum Equity Share required under Section 104.20(a)(2). 

For a list of forms and additional documents associated with the Temporary Approval process click here.

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Application Modification: Business Premises Relocation

DCR has developed resources related to Application Modification: Business Premises Relocation to assist applicants and licensees in the application process and to increase transparency in DCR’s administration of the Cannabis Procedures Ordinance.

These Workflow and Bulletin documents have been temporarily removed pending updates to the Los Angeles Municipal Code and DCR's own Rules and Regulations. Watch this space for updates.

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Application and license modification requests.  

Beginning September 1, 2021 applicants will no longer be required to register an intent to submit a modification request prior to the submission of the request. Modification requests will continue to be accepted exclusively through the DCR Licensing Portal. Upon submission of the modification request, the Applicant or Licensee shall submit all additional documents and information deemed necessary to process the request through the DCR Licensing Portal and pay any additional modification fees pursuant to Section 104.19. Modification requests shall not be deemed filed or processed until all required documents, information, and fees have been submitted.

If you plan to submit a modification request prior to September 1, 2021, you must:  (1) register your intent to submit a modification request via Jot Form by 4:00PM on August 31, 2021 and (2) submit a modification request via DCR’s Licensing Portal (Accela) by 11:59PM on August 31, 2021. Modification fees may be paid after September 1, 2021 as long as they are paid prior to the deadline on the invoice.  Please note that, after you register an intent to submit a modification request, DCR staff updates the record status to “MOD Requested” in the Licensing Portal, which will allow you to submit a modification request through the Portal. You may receive an email communication informing you when the status has been changed so that you may submit a modification request.

Beginning September 1, 2021, only Licensees may request certain modifications. Please see table below for guidance concerning which modifications may be submitted at which stage in the licensing process. 

On October 1, 2021, if an applicant is seeking a modification that cannot be effectuated through a modification request, an applicant may submit a new Pre-Application. Modification requests submitted prior to September 1, 2021 may be considered regardless of application or license status. 

Below is an explanation of common modification requests. 

Legal Name Change: The name of the Applicant or the Licensee changes, but the Social Security Number (SSN), the Entity Identification Number (EIN), and/or the California Secretary of State Entity Number remains the same. If the Social Security Number (SSN), the Entity Identification Number (EIN), or the California Secretary of State Entity Number associated with the Person applying for a License or issued a License changes, then it is considered an entity substitution.

Entity Substitution: The licensed entity is substituted for a new entity. If the Social Security Number (SSN), the Entity Identification Number (EIN), or the California Secretary of State Entity Number associated with the Person applying for a License or issued a License changes, it is considered an entity substitution. Conversions, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures that change the SSN, EIN, the California Secretary of State Entity Number are considered entity substitutions. An entity substitution is considered an one-hundred percent change in ownership since the new Applicant and/or Licensee is not the original Applicant and/or Licensee.

Remove/add owners: Existing owners are added or removed. At least one owner with an ownership interest must remain on the License for the business to continue operations while DCR reviews the eligibility of the new Owner(s) pursuant to LAMC section 104.03(a)(1) and (2). If all Owners will be transferring their ownership interest, the Applicant or Licensee shall resubmit all application documents and pay all required application fees. The business shall not operate under the new ownership structure until a new License has been issued by DCR.

The following is a table showing which modifications can be made at which stage in the licensing process.

Modification Type

Pre-App

Pending Temporary Approval Application

Temporary Approval

Annual

License

Legal Name Change

N/A

Yes

Yes

Yes

Remove/Add Owners

N/A

No, file a New Pre-App

Yes

Yes

Entity Substitution

N/A

No, file a New Pre-App

Yes

Yes

Entity Substitution (Phase 3 Retail Round 1)

N/A

Yes, until 12/31/21

Yes

Yes

Relocation - All Activities

N/A

No, file a New Pre-App

Yes

Yes

Relocation - Some Activities

N/A

No, file a New Pre-App

Yes

Yes

Relocation - All Activities (Phase 3 Retail Round 1)

N/A

Yes, until 12/31/21

Yes

Yes

Add Cannabis Activity 

N/A

No, file a New Pre-App

No, file a New Pre-App

No, file a New Pre-App

Remove Cannabis Activity 

N/A

Yes

Yes

Yes

Business Premises Diagram

N/A

Yes

Yes

Yes

Fictitious Business Name

N/A

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ownership Structure

N/A

No, file a New Pre-App

Yes

Yes

Withdrawal or Cancellation

N/A

Yes

Yes

Yes

Please note that, as reflected in the table, Phase 3 Retail Round 1 applicants with a Temporary Approval Application eligible for further processing may submit relocation requests and entity substitution requests until December 31, 2021.