los angeles

Los Angeles Social Equity Phase 2 Begins

According to the Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR), "The City of Los Angeles has adopted a Social Equity Program aimed promoting 'equitable ownership an demployement 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.'"

Below you will find a recording of a workshop featuring The Department of Cannabis Regulation's (DCR) Executive Director, Cat Packer, explaining the program and diving more into what Phase II is all about.

Some key takeaways are the following:

  • Phase 2 will only focus on NON-RETAIL supply chain license applicants (i.e. cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing, retail, microbusiness)
  • Property will not be required for applicants to be verified
  • Proof of activity prior to January 2016
  • Proof of product activity with an existing medial marijuana dispensary (EEMD)
  • Must qualify as a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 applicant

More information about eligibility requirements may be found here.

There are 3 tiers in which applicants may apply:

  • Tier 1
    • Either low income AND California cannabis conviction or;
    • Low income AND minimum of 5 years cumulative residency in a disproportionately impacted area
    • Ownership requirement of NO LESS than 51%
  • Tier 2
    • Either low income AND AND a minimum of 5 years cumulative residency in a disproportionately impacted area or;
    • Minimum of 10 years cumulative residency in a disproportionately impacted area
    • Ownership requirement of NO LESS than 33.33%
  • Tier 3
    • Social Equity Agreement
    • Ownership requirement is NONE

For more on the City's Social Equity Program, watch the video above and refer the presentation deck for details.

4 Cities to Participate in Social Equity Programs

Social Equity has been the talk of the town around major cities in California and now Massachusetts. In fact, Massachusetts is the first to offer a statewide program. That means there are some prime cities to that you may live in to participate and be a part of history. Here are four major cities that currently offer Social Equity Programs.


Boston Skyline

Boston is the largest city in the State of Massachusetts and most likely will play the biggest role in the statewide equity program. The Cannabis Control Commission has a detailed outline of the program and expectations of its participants. You can read more here.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles Hollywood sign

The City of Angels recently opened up Phase II of its licensing round with a focus on Social Equity applicants. This round is dedicated to non-retail licenses but some pretty strict requirements must be met first. The Department of Cannabis Regulation will be giving out licenses on a 1:1 ratio meaning Social Equity applicants will be recipients of at least 50% of them. When retail licenses roll out in Phase III, that ratio will increase to 2:1.



The Town has been pioneering Social Equity efforts with applicants already having received licenses. The Hood Incubator has been leading this initiative helping thousands of black and brown people get into the cannabis industry.

San Francisco

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

Just across the bridge from Oakland, The City has started to ramp up its Social Equity efforts to help more people of color get into cannabis.

All of the above cities allow for incubators like ours to help applicants progress in areas such as licensing, compliance, property procurement, supply chain management, and more.