Social Equity Program

Overview

Qualifications

Benefits

Verification

Phase 3 Round 1

FREE Social Equity Program (SEP) Eligibility Verification Process

Per the instruction of the City Council, the Social Equity Program (SEP) Eligibility Verification Process is now CLOSED.

Potential Social Equity Applicants MUST complete the SEP Applicant Eligibility Verification Process in order to be eligible to apply in Round 1, Round 2 and the Delivery Pilot in Phase 3.

DCR will process registrations as they are received and provide eligibility determinations to applicants as soon as possible. It will treat all registrations submitted up to July 29th the same and applicants will not receive any special priority for Phase 3 processing based upon when they registered. Most importantly, you do not have to pay any fees to DCR to register for verification - DCR will review your registration free of charge.

The deadline to apply for Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification was Monday, July 29, 2019 at 4 p.m. You must have registered by this deadline if you want to participate as a Social Equity Applicant in Phase 3 Round 1 of Type 10 Retail licensing, which opens September 3, 2019.

DCR will verify applicants on an ongoing basis.

How to Register for Verification

To register to be verified as a Social Equity Applicant, click here to access the Accela Citizen Access portal.

For New Users: click on "Register to Apply for a License". Follow the prompts to register for a new account to complete the Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Process.

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When you have finished filling out the Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification questionnaire, you must still upload your supporting documents. See below for instructions on how to upload.

For Existing Users: if you have an account, log in, then click on "Account Management"

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From there, click on "Actions ->View" under Contact Information to answer the Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification questionnaire.

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For ALL Users: When you have completed the Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification questionnaire, click the Add button under Account Management to add your supporting documentation. The list of DCR Approved Documents is listed below on this page

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When you have finished adding files, navigate back to the Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification questionnaire (click "Actions->View" on the Account Management page), and answer the last question:

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This will submit the Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification application for DCR review.

Please check back regularly for more detailed instructions from DCR.

Individuals that are verified as Tier 1 or Tier 2 Social Equity Applicants will be eligible to apply in Round 1 of retail licensing, which, per the instruction of the City Council, will begin by September 3. Verified Tier 1 and Tier 2 Social Equity Applicants will also be able to apply in Round 2 of retail licensing and the Delivery Pilot Program, the start dates of which are to be determined.

Social Equity Program (SEP) Eligibility Verification Registration Process

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I register to be verified as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant?

A: You can register to be verified by uploading the required documents through DCR online Portal. You must register and upload documents online to participate in the SEP Eligibility Verification Process.

Q: Can I submit my records at DCR’s office?

A: No. DCR will not accept documents submitted in-person. All records must be uploaded through the DCR online portal.

Q: When can I register to be verified?

A: The DCR online portal will be open from May 28, 2019 until 4:00 p.m. on July 29, 2019.

Q: Does it matter when I submit my documents during the verification window?

A: No. It doesn’t matter when you upload your documents onto the DCR online portal. DCR staff will be reviewing and verifying all documents submitted during the verification window. There is no priority given to Applicants that submit documents earlier in the verification window.

Q: Is this process first come, first served?

A: No. The SEP Eligibility Verification Process is not first come, first served. There is no priority processing assigned to applicants who submit earlier during the verification window.

Q: Is there a maximum number of individuals that will be verified?

A: No. There is no maximum number of individuals who can be verified during the SEP Eligibility Verification Process.

Q: Can I register to be verified as both a Tier 1 and Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant?

A: Yes. During the registration process, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire, where you can identify the Tier (or both Tiers) you want to register under. You can request to be verified as both, a Tier 1 and Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant and submit relevant documents to support your eligibility for both Tiers.

Q: What happens to my SEP Eligibility Verification Registration if I don’t submit all the information or documents DCR requires?

A: DCR will notify you via email of any deficiencies or missing information in the documents submitted. All individuals who register for the SEP Eligibility Verification Process and submit documents in support, will receive one opportunity to correct deficiencies or upload additional documents by a specified deadline. If you fail to submit the requested documentation by the deadline, DCR will not verify you as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant.

Q:How do I verify my income if I did not file taxes in 2017 or 2018?

A:An individual can complete an IRS Form 4506-T ( https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf ) to request this proof. The service is free and requests are normally processed in 10-days. 

This form can be used to request:

  • Verification of Nonfiling from the IRS, which is proof from the IRS that the individual did not file a return for 2017 and 2018 year. 
  • Form W-2, Form 1099 series, Form 1098 series, or Form 5498 series transcripts. The IRS can provide a transcript that includes data from these information returns. State or local information is not included with the Form W-2 information. The IRS may be able to provide this transcript information for up to 10 years. Information for the current year is generally not available until the year after it is filed with the IRS. For example, W-2 information for 2016, filed in 2017, will likely not be available from the IRS until 2018. If you need W-2 information for retirement purposes, you should contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Most requests will be processed within 10 business days.
  • Return Transcript, which includes most of the line items of a tax return as filed with the IRS. A tax return transcript does not reflect changes made to the account after the return is processed. Transcripts are only available for the following returns: Form 1040 series, Form 1065, Form 1120, Form 1120-A, Form 1120-H, Form 1120-L, and Form 1120S. Return transcripts are available for the current year and returns processed during the prior 3 processing years. Most requests will be processed within 10 business days.

Q: Do I need to register for the SEP Eligibility Verification Process during the 60-day window to be able to apply for a retail license during Phase 3?

A: Yes. You must be verified as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant through the SEP Eligibility Verification Process to be eligible to submit an application in Rounds 1 and 2 of Phase 3 Retail (Type 10) Licensing.

Q: How do I get information about the verification process?

A: DCR staff are available to answer your questions about how to be verified as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant. You can submit your questions by email to dcrlicensing@lacity.org, by phone to (213) 978-0738, or in person at 221 N. Figueroa St, Suite 1245, Los Angeles, CA, 90012, which is open Mondays through Fridays (excluding City holidays) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Q: Are there individuals or organizations outside of the DCR that can help me register to be verified as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant?

A: The DCR is aware of consultants and/or organizations who offer individuals assistance with the SEP Eligibility Verification Process. DCR, however, does not require you to use a consultant, attorney or agent to complete the verification process and submit the required documents on your behalf. The DCR provides free clinics to assist individuals seeking to participate in the SEP Eligibility Verification Process.

Q: Is there a cost associated with the SEP Eligibility Verification Process?

A: No. The DCR does not charge any fees to register for the eligibility verification process.

Q: Is the 60-day eligibility verification window where I can get a retail license?

A: No. DCR will only determine whether or not you are eligible to apply for a retail license as a Tier or Tier 2 Social Equity Applicant. Afterward, you must still apply for a retail license (in Phase 3, Rounds 1 and 2), and meet all application requirements before you would receive a retail license.

Q: Does DCR endorse or authorize any individual or organizations to provide SEP Eligibility Verification Registration assistance?

A: No. DCR does not endorse or authorize any individual or organization to advise applicants on the verification process. Any claim by an individual or an organization that it is “endorsed,” “authorized,” “approved,” “licensed,” or otherwise sanctioned by DCR to provide verification assistance is absolutely false.

Q: Should I pay individuals or organizations to provide verification assistance?

A: You are free to decide whether to pay for verification assistance, but you should first consider submitting questions to DCR staff by email to cannabis@lacity.org, by phone to (213) 978-0738, or in person at DCR’s office at 221 N. Figueroa St, Suite 1245, which is open Mondays through Fridays (excluding City holidays) from 9 am to 4 pm. DCR will provide all the information necessary to complete the verification process free of charge. Further, the DCR provides free clinics to assist individuals seeking to participate in the SEP Eligibility Verification Process.

Q: Do any individuals or organizations have inside information about the verification process?

A: No. DCR provides all information necessary to complete the verification on its website and in response to inquiries submitted by email, phone or in person. Any claim by an individual or organization that is has received exclusive information about the verification process from DCR is absolutely false.

Q: Is it more likely that DCR will approve my SEP Eligibility Verification Registration if I am associated with particular individuals or organizations?

A: No. The fact you are associated with a particular individual or organization will have absolutely no bearing on your application. DCR will base its determination on the information and documents you provide and nothing else.

Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) Social Equity Applicant Eligibility Verification List of DCR Approved Documents

Approved Documents 1Approved Documents 2

PDF iconSocial Equity Applicant Eligibility Verification - List of Approved Documents

DCR Licensing and Social Equity Workshop 

View DCR Licensing and Social Equity Workshop Video above


2019-05-16 SEP workshop screenshot

PDF iconSEP Workshop

PDF iconSEP Workshop - Spanish