Report: L.A.’s Cannabis Equity Program Needs Improvement

Los Angeles’ cannabis equity program could use some work, according to a new analysis from The Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA).

The researchers looked at factors such as the program’s accessibility, eligibility, and the licensing process. They ended up giving L.A. a score of 85 out of 140.

“Overall, Los Angeles has a below average social equity program, with the potential of improving as the program continues to roll out,” they said in their executive summary. “Los Angeles’ social equity program inception and framework scored well by providing those impacted by the War on Drugs by providing broad opportunities in the cannabis industry. However, the implementation of the program has not met expectations.”

Los Angeles earned high scores for accessibility, eligibility, and the expungement process. But the researchers determined that the program “does not promote the long-term success of applicants and does little to address existing market concerns affecting applicants in the short-term.”

One of the problems is that the city awarded nearly 200 temporary licenses before it had a social equity program in place.

Among the recommendations is the establishment of a community reinvestment fund that would set aside 2% or more of cannabis tax revenue for equity programs, greater educational support for applicants, and more deference in the licensing process toward communities hit hard by the War on Drugs.

Read the full report here