July 3, 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.
Let me take this opportunity to remind you of two very important licensing-related deadlines that are quickly approaching. The first is for all those who are interested in applying for Phase 3 Retail or Delivery Priority Processing. These individuals MUST be pre-verified as a qualified Social Equity Program (SEP) applicant. The deadline to submit SEP Eligibility Verification Applications is July 29, 2019 at 4 p.m. To learn more about the Program’s overview, qualifications, benefits, and the eligibility verification process, please visit our Social Equity Program webpage.
The second is pertaining to our efforts to retain on-call business development services for the City’s Social Equity Program through our recently released Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The deadline to respond to the RFQ is July 12, 2019 at 2 p.m. Through this process, we will identify one or more consultants to develop and conduct business development curriculum, training, business, licensing and compliance assistance, and related services intended to support applicants and licensees eligible to participate in our Social Equity Program. For more information and details, please click here.
Meanwhile, we are continuing to offer free workshops and clinics to assist those navigating the licensing process. DCR staff members are now available via individual appointments to assist prospective Social Equity Program applicants with completing their Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification applications online. Applicants are encouraged to complete this Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Worksheet and bring it, along with their supporting documents, to their scheduled appointments. If you are interested in this service, please visit the DCR website to book your clinic appointment now.
In addition, we’ll be hosting our fourth Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing and Social Equity Program Stakeholder Meeting and Technical Assistance Workshop in El Sereno at the Barrio Action Youth and Family Center on Thursday, July 11 from 6 to 8 p.m., in partnership with Mayor Garcetti’s Office, Councilmember Jose Huizar of Council District 14 and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell of Council District 13. For more information and to RSVP for this workshop, please find the workshop flyer below. This is one of a series of workshops that covers information related to the SEP eligibility verification process and Phase 3 Licensing. All of these workshops provide the same information and materials. To access the slide presentation and view the video from the first workshop, please click here.
As you can see, this is a busy and exciting time here in Los Angeles as we shape our commercial cannabis industry -- and we still have a lot of work to do! I look forward to continuing our work together and encourage you to stay apprised of DCR’s operations, including the upcoming licensing workshops and verification clinics, by signing up for our email alerts and monitoring the Cannabis Regulation Commission meetings.
Have a safe and happy 4th!
Social Equity Program RFQ on BAVN
DCR Releases Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Cannabis Social Equity Program RESPONSES ARE DUE FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2019 BY 2 P.M.
The City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation is pleased to announce the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) which seeks to retain on-call business development services for the City’s Social Equity Program. The RFQ seeks one or more consultants to develop and conduct business development curriculum, training, business, licensing and compliance assistance, and related services intended to support applicants and licensees eligible to participate in the SEP, pursuant to Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 104.20. The contract term will be up to three years. For more information and details, please click here.
RFQ Bidder’s Conference for Cannabis Social Equity Program
On June 19, DCR held the RFQ proposer’s conference to provide information and answer questions related to the RFQ. Staff was eager to share information with all of the potential proposers. Responses are due Friday, July 12, 2019 by 2 p.m.
Social Equity Program
Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Process Now Open
DCR will accept Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Applications from May 28, 2019 until July 29, 2019. 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 29, 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.
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.
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 28 and July 29 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 or to external organizations to apply to be verified.
To learn more about the Social Equity Program, and to begin the eligibility verification process, please visit DCR’s Social Equity Program webpage.
Guidance on Submitting Records to Prove Low Income Status
Some stakeholders have inquired with DCR as to what records an applicant can submit to prove Low Income status if they did not file a tax return in 2017 and 2018 because their income fell below the amount for which a return must be filed. In such a case, an applicant may submit a Verification of Nonfiling from the IRS, which is proof from the IRS that the applicant did not file a return for 2017 and 2018 year. An individual can complete an IRS Form 4506-T (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-
Additionally, an applicant may submit government records reflecting their eligibility for government assistance available to low income individuals. Further, as DCR has communicated to stakeholders at its clinics and workshops, an individual who cannot submit tax or government assistance records may submit other financial records that they contend demonstrate they are low income. DCR will review such records on a case-by-case basis and make an appropriate determination.
Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Application Clinics
DCR is currently scheduling individual appointments to assist potential Social Equity Program applicants with completing their Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Applications online. Applicants are encouraged to complete this Social Equity Program Applicant Eligibility Verification - Clinic Registration Worksheet and bring it, along with their supporting documents, to their scheduled appointments. Clinic attendees with confirmed appointments are guaranteed assistance. Walk-in assistance is subject to availability. Please visit the DCR website to book your clinic appointment now.
SEP Eligibility Verification FAQs Now Available
FREE Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Registration Clinics
DCR is pleased to announce that DCR staff are now available to provide individual appointments to assist Social Equity Applicants with completing their Social Equity Program Eligibility Verification Registration through our Accela Civic Engagement Portal. Applicants are encouraged to complete this Social Equity Applicant Eligibility Verification - Clinic Registration Worksheetand bring it, along with their supporting documents, to their scheduled appointments.
Please note that these clinics are provided free of charge and are open to the public. Clinic attendees with confirmed appointments are guaranteed assistance. Walk-in assistance is subject to availability.
New appointments will be made available on Wednesdays at 12 PM PST. Please check back regularly for more information on additional clinics.
Guidance Regarding Equity Share Requirements for
Social Equity Applicants
DCR has posted on its website detailed guidance regarding the Equity Share requirements for Social Equity Applicants and what types of information and documents DCR will require to verify if a Social Equity Applicant owns the minimum required Equity Shares in the business being licensed. DCR will be updating this document regularly as it receives input from stakeholders. Please find this document here.
Additionally, as a reminder, last month DCR issued a call for input from stakeholders regarding development of (1) minimum standards for the transfer of Social Equity Applicants’ interest in a license, (2) minimum standards for management agreements with Social Equity Applicants, and (3) options for requiring community reinvestment/social impact plans for all businesses conducting commercial cannabis activity. DCR invites all interested stakeholders to submit written comments on any of these topics by email to firstname.lastname@example.org through July 31, 2019.
Policy Updates and News
State Legislative Activity
The Cannabis Budget Trailer Bill was signed by Governor Newsom on July 1. Key features of the newly adopted legislation include a CEQA and provisional license extension until 2022, a new grant formula for SB 1294, and a state level organic designation for cannabis to be implemented by 2021.
Federal Legislative Activity
A series of bills (H.R. 3450 / H.R 3453 / H.R. 3544) were introduced in the House to allow cannabis businesses to access services from the Small Business Administration. In addition, S. 2030 and its companion bill H.R. 3546were introduced and would prevent federal agencies from interfering with the cannabis policies of the states. Finally, Senator Feinstein introduced S. 2032, a bill intended to expand research on cannabidiol and cannabis.
DCR Addresses California Cannabis Advisory Committee (CAC)
The California Cannabis Advisory Committee (CAC) convened at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on June 26 and 27. The CAC advises the three state agencies that regulate California’s cannabis industry. On the first day, DCR’s Executive Director Cat Packer gave a presentation and answered questions from the Equity Subcommittee about the Social Equity Program in Los Angeles. The subcommittee incorporated Packer’s information into their recommendations to the full committee for its consideration. On the second day, the CAC recommended that California establish a statewide social equity program.
DCR Hosted the Third Social Equity Program and Phase 3 Licensing Workshop
DCR’s Social Equity Program and Phase 3 Licensing education and outreach series continues this summer. On June 20, DCR hosted the third Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing Technical Assistance Workshops in the San Fernando Valley. Over 100 people attended the presentation in Canoga Park. DCR is grateful for the support from Mayor Eric Garcetti's office, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield of Council District 3, and Councilmember Paul Koretz of Council District 5, whose partnership allowed the workshop to be a great success.
During the workshop, DCR’s executive staff provided an overview of the SEP eligibility verification process and Phase 3 Licensing requirements. Following the workshop presentation, DCR staff remained to answer attendees' specific questions. The Department will continue to provide technical assistance via additional SEP licensing workshops and the aforementioned one-on-one clinics taking place throughout the City this summer.
This series of workshops provides information on the SEP eligibility verification process and Phase 3 licensing -- all of the workshops in the series provide the same information and materials. To access the slide presentation and view the video from the first workshop, please click here.
We’re looking forward to hosting our fourth Phase 3 Retail and Delivery Licensing and the Social Equity Program Stakeholder Technical Assistance Workshop in partnership with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office, Councilmember Jose Huizar of Council District 14, and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell of Council District 13 at the Barrio Youth and Family Action Center in El Sereno on Thursday, July 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. Click here to RSVP.
The More You Know
Statewide Education Campaign Urges Consumers to
Shop Licensed Retailers
Last month, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control launched a statewide public information program to encourage consumers to only purchase cannabis and cannabis products from licensed businesses.
The goal of the “Get #weedwise” campaign is to educate consumers about the risks associated with cannabis purchased from unlicensed businesses. The campaign also educates unlicensed businesses about the need to be licensed and the consequences of continuing to operate without a license. Currently, all commercial cannabis businesses in California must be licensed by the state and comply with local rules related to commercial cannabis activity in their jurisdiction, including the City of Los Angeles.
The multilingual campaign warns consumers about dangerous, foreign material – including chemicals, mold, and fecal matter – that can be found in illegal, untested cannabis. The campaign will also include alerts to illegal businesses informing them that they could face confiscation of cash or cannabis by engaging in unlicensed activity. Please click here for more information.
DCR Information Now Available in Over 100 Languages
All of the details included in this bulletin, as well as every page on the DCR website, are now available in over 100 different languages through the Google Translate feature found at the top right corner of the DCR website. Just click on the word “Translate” and choose your language.
DCR also provides English-to-Spanish translators and Spanish-speaking staff at our various workshops and one-on-one clinics.
We have translated our first brochure, Guide to Adult-Use Cannabis a Sales Consumption Within the City of Los Angeles into Spanish! It is available to print here.
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.
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.
|Credit: LACityview35||DCR Featured in LA This Week|
Authorized Cannabis Retailers are required to comply with State and Local standards that require that cannabis products be tested for harmful pesticides and toxins. Find your nearest authorized commercial cannabis retailer with the click of a button on our interactive map at cannabis.lacity.org/legal-
-To lodge a complaint about any cannabis activity in the City of Los Angeles - licensed or unlicensed, please use DCR’s complaint portal.
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