In 2017, The City of Los Angeles established its Social Equity Program as one tool to acknowledge and repair the harm caused by the War on Drugs and the disparate enforcement of cannabis prohibition. The mission of the Social Equity Program is to promote equitable ownership and employment 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. As such, individuals who are low income, have past cannabis arrests and or convictions, and/or those who have lived in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIA) may qualify for the Social Equity Program. The Social Equity Program includes the following benefits:
● Priority application processing
● Business, Licensing, Compliance and Technical Assistance
● Access to the Fee Waiver Program*
● Access to the SEED Grant Program*
● Access to the Pro-bono and Low-bono Legal Services Program*
*Access to these benefits may be limited based on the availability of resources and subject to requirements established in the Rules and Regulations.
In April 2021, the City of Los Angeles established the Social Equity Entrepreneur Development Grant Program (SEED) Grant Program. The Rules and Regulations for the SEED Grant Program can be found here in Regulation No. 11 (page 46). To date, the City of Los Angeles has disbursed $6 million in direct financial support with funds made available through the 2019 and 2020 Cannabis Equity Grant for Local Jurisdictions (CEG) awards.
In 2022, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation will be disbursing $5 million in funding from the Cannabis Equity Grant for Local Jurisdictions.
The SEED program is administered in partnership with Elevate Impact LA.
RESERVATION OF RIGHTS
The City of Los Angeles reserves the right to evaluate and revise the SEED Grant Program in the future based on information gathered in its evaluation.