Los Angeles County Cannabis Equity Assessment
In March 2022, the Los Angeles County Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) received a grant from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to conduct a social equity assessment and develop a cannabis equity program. Completed by academic researchers, the recently completed Pathways and Practices for Cannabis Social and Health Equity in Los Angeles County assesses current practices and provides recommendations to support an equitable cannabis industry.
The assessment includes 19 categories of preliminary recommendations for the County’s implementation of an equitable cannabis licensing program. Some of the key recommendations include:
- Prioritizing Equity in Licensing – Prioritizing individuals/communities directly impacted by the war on drugs (e.g., cannabis convictions and/or family with cannabis-related conviction).
- Simplified Application Process – Cross-departmental coordination, easy to use public information and material, and removal of initial property requirements until latter stage of licensing.
- One-Stop-Shop Technical Assistance – Providing services prior to licensing that includes legal support, financial guidance, employee training, business development.
- Financial Assistance – Reducing or waiving fees for qualified equity applicants and providing grants or repayable low interest rate loans of significant value.
- Develop a Workforce Development Pipeline – Create career pathways into cannabis and ancillary industries.
The content of this report expresses the opinions of its authors and focus group participants and does not necessarily represent the views of the Los Angeles County Office of Cannabis Management.
Community Feedback Sessions
OCM hosted a series of community feedback sessions throughout the month of March to gather input on some of the Cannabis Equity Assessment findings and proposed recommendations. Community members in attendance learned more about assessment and had an opportunity to provide feedback on the following key program considerations, in addition to general comments: program eligibility criteria, program resources that should be offered to qualifying individuals, as well as on potential community reinvestment and benefits. Sessions were held in-person and virtually, with Spanish-translation services provided.
Feedback from the sessions was captured and will help inform final recommendations for the County’s Cannabis Equity Program as part of a comprehensive report to be submitted to County Board of Supervisors.
If you were unable to join our community feedback sessions, you can view the virtual session below.