Individual Verification 

Online SEIA Eligibility Verification Request Form
2022 Individual Verification Window
Eligibility Criteria for Verification
Phase 3 Retail Round 2 Lottery
Resources
Miscellaneous

Introduction

The City of Los Angeles is one of the few jurisdictions in the United States addressing the inequitable impacts of prior cannabis criminalization by developing and implementing policies that focus on equity in cannabis policy reform. The Department of Cannabis Regulation’s (DCR) Social Equity Program (SEP) is one tool the City of Los Angeles is using to acknowledge and repair the harm caused by the War on Drugs and the unequal enforcement of cannabis laws in the past.

The Social Equity Program focuses on the inclusion and support of individuals in the City’s legal cannabis market who may be from communities that were negatively or disproportionately impacted by prior cannabis criminalization. As part of that effort, cannabis business license applications for retail, delivery, and cultivation are available only to Social Equity Individual Applicants until January 1, 2025.

Online SEIA Eligibility Verification Request Form

An individual requesting to be verified as a Social Equity Individual Applicant (SEIA) must submit required information and supporting documentation via the online SEIA Eligibility Verification Request Form.* 

  • Requesters must provide their unique ACA Reference ID number from the DCR Licensing Portal (Accela) in order to proceed through the online SEIA Eligibility Verification Request Form. ACA Reference ID numbers are assigned when an account is registered on the DCR Licensing Portal and can be found under the "Account Management" tab.  A video tutorial on “How to Look Up your Accela Citizen Access Reference ID Number” is also available. If you do not have an individual DCR Licensing Portal (Accela) account, you will need to register for an account. If you do not have a DCR Licensing Portal account, you may not receive your eligibility verification results and you will not be able to participate in the Social Equity Program until you register an account.

 

  • On July 25, 2022 at 4:00 P.M. Pacific Time (PT), access to the eligibility verification request form will be disabled and the eligibility verification request submission window will close.  Incomplete and/or deficient submissions may not be corrected, supplemented or otherwise modified after July 25, 2022 at 4:00 P.M. Pacific Time (PT). Please note that you must hit “Submit and/or Continue Later” at the end of the questions for DCR to receive and review your submission.

 

  • If you were verified in 2019, you must be verified again if you wish to participate in the Phase 3 Retail Round 2 lottery for an opportunity to be selected to submit a Social Equity retail storefront license application.

Important!

Unless an accommodation is requested, the online SEIA Eligibility Verification Request Form is the only way individuals can request to be verified as a Social Equity Individual Applicant. The City of Los Angeles will provide reasonable accommodation(s) to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and facilities for people with disabilities. To make an accommodation request, please contact us at dcr.sep@lacity.org or (213)978-0738, at least ten business days before the submission deadline.

2022 Individual Verification Window

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation will accept Social Equity Individual Applicant verification requests from  May 26, 2022 to July 25, 2022 at 4:00 P.M. Pacific Time (PT). An individual must be verified as a Social Equity Individual Applicant before they may submit an application for certain commercial cannabis activity types. For example, only verified Social Equity Individual Applicants may submit a Social Equity Application for a cannabis business license to conduct retail, non-retail delivery, and cultivation activity.

There are seven general activity types:

  • Storefront Retail (not currently available, but DCR will accept applications after conducting a lottery in late 2022)*
  • Non-storefront delivery to consumers
  • Cultivation (application for license types with canopy are not currently accepted)
  • Volatile Manufacturing (not currently accepted)
  • Non-Volatile Manufacturing
  • Distribution between businesses
  • Testing

*For individuals who were previously verified as Social Equity Individual Applicants in 2019 and who wish to participate in the Phase 3 Retail Round 2 lottery for retail licenses, you will need to be verified again under the updated criteria and have a California Cannabis Arrest or Conviction in order to register for the lottery. An arrest, prosecution or conviction for a violation of Proposition D is not a California Cannabis Arrest or Conviction.

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Eligibility Criteria for Verification

The eligibility verification process ensures that individuals meet the criteria of as a Social Equity Individual Applicant under LAMC 104.20(b)(1) to participate in the Department of Cannabis Regulation’s license application process. The eligibility criteria for verification has changed since it was last implemented in 2019. For example, in 2020, revisions were made to the definitions for “Low-Income” and “Disproportionately Impacted Areas,” among other changes. Now, to be verified as a Social Equity Individual Applicant under LAMC 104.20(b)(1), you must satisfy two of the three following criteria:

  1. Cannabis arrest or conviction* in California for any crime relating to the sale, possession, use, manufacture or cultivation of Cannabis that occurred prior to November 8, 2016; 
    *An arrest, prosecution or conviction for a violation of Proposition D is not a California Cannabis Arrest or Conviction
  2. 10 years of cumulative residency in a Disproportionately Impacted Area as defined by police reporting districts
    1. Report for Police Reporting Districts
    2. Check to see if your address is in a disproportionately impacted area
  3. OR qualify as Low Income in the 2020 or 2021 calendar year. "Low-Income" means both of the following definitions are met: (1) the Social Equity Individual Applicant meets the low-income thresholds established in the annual U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) income limits based upon the Area Median Income (AMI) for Los Angeles County based on household size; AND (2) the Social Equity Individual Applicant does not have Assets in excess of four times the AMI amount for their household.
    1. More Information on income limits based upon household sizes
    2. IRS Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return) and filing instructions
    3. Check to see if you meet the Low Income threshold
      1. 2020
      2. 2021
    4. SEP-6003-FORM - Asset Attestation Form

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Phase 3 Retail Round 2

In order to participate in the Phase 3 Retail Round 2 lottery you must be verified as a Social Equity Individual Applicant* under LAMC 104.20(b)(1) with

  • a qualifying California Cannabis Arrest or Conviction** prior to November 8, 2016 AND
  • either 10 years of cumulative residency in a Disproportionately Impacted Area as defined by police reporting districts OR
  • qualify as Low Income in the 2020 or 2021 calendar year.

*Individuals who were previously verified as Social Equity Individual Applicants in 2019 and who wish to participate in the Phase 3 Retail Round 2 lottery for retail licenses, you will need to be verified again under the updated criteria in order to register. 

**An arrest, prosecution or conviction for a violation of Proposition D is not a California Cannabis Arrest or Conviction.

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Resources

The Social Equity Program has several resources for those interested in learning more about becoming a Social Equity Individual Applicant.

Social Equity Individual Applicant Verification Informational Video

Eligibility Verification Request Process Jotform Step-by-Step

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation has engaged a vendor to provide free one-on-one virtual assistance for individuals interested in becoming verified as a Social Equity Individual Applicant (SEIA). You may sign up for a 15-minute session using this linkto ask questions in order to identify necessary documentation for SEIA eligibility verification. Due to demand, please note that each individual is eligible for only one session. If an individual signs up for more than one session, the subsequent session will be removed from the vendor’s queue. Please note that the Department does not charge for these sessions and the sessions are free.

These sessions will take place on the following dates from 12 P.M. to 2 P.M. Pacific Time (PT):

June 1 June 8 June 15 June 22
June 29 July 6 July 13 July 20

Please note that information provided during a session does not replace or supersede the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) or Rules and Regulations, and does not constitute business or legal advice. The information provided is subject to change and may not be up-to-date or complete. Applicants are encouraged to conduct their own due diligence.

For additional questions, contact DCR at dcr.sep@lacity.org or call (213) 978-0738 during business hours, 10 am to 4 pm, Monday through Thursday.

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Miscellaneous

If you would like to review the original or expanded Social Equity Analysis commissioned by the Los Angeles City Council, please click the links below. These reports informed the policies of the Social Equity Program and the requirements in the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

Social Equity Analysis (2017.10.18) 
Addendum to Social Equity Analysis (2017.11.16) 
Revised Cannabis Social Equity Analysis (2020.05.27)

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Entity Verification 

In order to participate in certain SEP programming a Social Equity Applicant must have the requisite Equity Share and meet other related requirements established in LAMC Sections 104.20(a)(2) or 104.20(b)(2).

A Social Equity Applicant is required to comply with Equity Share requirements before a License is issued or renewed.

Click here to view the Social Equity Program - Entity Verification Information and Procedure Bulletin.