About the Program

Mission

The Mission 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.”


Program Overview 

Cannabis criminalization and its enforcement has had long-term, adverse impacts to the City of Los Angeles, particularly for low income and minority community members.

The City of Los Angeles is one of the few jurisdictions in the United States attempting to address the impacts of past cannabis policies and their inequities by developing and implementing cannabis policies that seek to center equity in cannabis policy reform.

The Social Equity Program (SEP) 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.

Please check our website regularly for more information and updates related to the Social Equity Program and its implementation.


Social Equity Program Director 

Dr. Imani Brown is the Social Equity Program Director for the Department of Cannabis Regulation. Within this role, Dr. Brown works to provide business, licensing, compliance, and technical assistance to verified Social Equity Program Applicants with the goal of promoting 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.

Dr. Brown is an urban policy and planning expert with more than twenty years’ experience in sustainable urban land use, government relations, public policy, and small business development. Dr. Brown was responsible for directing billions of dollars in economic development in Southern California and has created multiple community-centered economic development projects. Dr. Brown earned her doctorate from USC in Policy, Planning, and Development in 2009. 


California Cannabis Local Jurisdiction Equity Grant

The California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 and the Budget Act of 2019 appropriated funding for the state to provide to local jurisdictions to develop and operate local cannabis equity programs that focus on the inclusion and support of individuals in California's legal cannabis marketplace who are from communities negatively or disproportionately impacted by cannabis criminalization. 

For more information about the California Cannabis Local Jurisdiction Equity Grant please click here: California Cannabis Local Jurisdiction Equity Grant Details

Through this grant, the City of Los Angeles has been awarded approximately $7.8 million to provide direct assistance to equity applicants and equity licensees in the Social Equity Program.

In accordance with related grant agreements, the City is required to submit periodic reports to document its progress assisting Local Equity Applicants and/or Local Equity Licensees. 

DCR will regularly engage with applicants and licensees to request information related to these periodic reports. 

Pursuant to the Budget Act of 2019 and the Equity Act, the Bureau of Cannabis Control is required to submit a report to the Legislature on the progress of local equity programs that have received funding pursuant to these provisions.

To view the July 2020 Report to the California Legislature on Local Jurisdiction Equity Funding, click here: July 2020 Report on Local Jurisdiction Equity Funding


Program Updates

For the latest news and updates on the Social Equity Program, click here: Social Equity Program Updates