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Posted on 04/04/2023


The Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) is leading local applicants and current operators into a new phase of the licensing process. As the State of California moves away from provisional licensing into a more permanent annual licensing process, the City of Los Angeles will follow suit. In preparation for the Annual Licensing process, DCR has created an efficient and stable infrastructure to better serve applicants, operators, and the City of Los Angeles as a whole. 

In this issue, you’ll learn more about what DCR has been up to, including:

  • Assisting eligible Social Equity Applicants who wish to apply for State provisional license before the State’s Monday, April 3, 2023 deadline (the date was recently extended);
  • Developing a multi-hour webinar—Licensing 101—for those in ANY stage of the commercial cannabis licensing application process, scheduled for April 14, 2023;
  • Starting to transition current and new applicants into the City’s annual licensing process;
  • Preparing for the upcoming Cannabis Unite event on June 17, 2023; 
  • Accepting nearly $2 million in a State grant monies to support the Social Equity Program and applicants; and
  • Planning the next Q & A Virtual Lunch Webinar on April 12, 2023.
  • As of April 2023, DCR will fill 46 out of 59 authorized positions and continues to work to drive its vacancy rate below 15%.

Thank you for reading through our March News Bulletin. Should you have any questions, please reach out to DCR at (213) 978-0738, or by email at


Michelle Garakian

The deadline to apply for a provisional license from the State of California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is fast approaching. After April 3, 2023, Social Equity Applicants who DO NOT receive a DCC provisional license must obtain a license through the DCC’s annual licensing process before conducting commercial cannabis activity. It may take significantly longer to obtain an annual license compared to a provisional license.

A timeline of other upcoming State deadlines can be found here

What DCR is doing to help.

To support Social Equity Applicants applying on or before the April 3, 2023 deadline, DCR is providing the following temporary services for Social Equity Applicants only:

  • Fee deferrals for the following record types: Legal Business Entity records, Pre-Application Review records , and Temporary Approval Application records;
  • Local Compliance Underway letters will be issued after a Pre-Application Review record reaches “Eligible for Further Processing;” 
  • Notice of Substantial Compliance letters will be issued after the Pre-Application Review record reaches “Eligible for Further Processing;” and
  • Finally,  all existing Applicants and Licensees (both Social Equity Applicants and general applicants) will be eligible for fee waivers associated with the local annual licensing process beginning Monday, May 1, 2023.

Call DCR at (213) 978-0738 for more information and assistance.


If you’re currently going through the application process and require assistance, here’s your chance to learn everything you need to know and more. Join DCR on Friday, April 14, 2023 at 3:00 PM at Licensing 101. DCR will review all the steps to get a license, from Pre-Application Review to Annual Licensing, and help decode the alphabet of acronyms known as BTRC, LBER and PCN. This webinar will be broken up into segments so that individuals can participate in the specific sections that are important to them.

Please be on the lookout for more information soon via email, social media, and on the DCR website. To RSVP for the webinar, click here and to join the webinar, click here. To sign up for DCR emails, go to the subscribe section of our website.

As part of the effort to build a robust cannabis industry, DCR’s Social Equity Program has announced its calendar of upcoming webinars. These webinars will be held at 6:00 PM on the dates below.

March 30 - What in the World is CEQA?

April 4 - (Beachside Chat) “We’re Here! Get Used to it!” Tech Tools for a Powerful Web Message

April 6 - The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health

April 12 - DCR’s License Portal Process

April 18 - Finance for Cannabis Businesses

April 26 - Available Cannabis License Types in Los Angeles

These webinars are available to verified social equity individual applicants only. Those interested can register here.

June 17th Mayfair Hotel, Los Angeles Cannabis Unite Summer Edition

DCR’s Social Equity Program will host its second Cannabis Unite event at 3:00 PM on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at the Mayfair Hotel in Los Angeles. This networking event brings together industry thought leaders with operators and recognizes DCR’s continued commitment to advancing the Los Angeles social equity cannabis community. Last December, DCR through its Social Equity Program hosted the first Cannabis Unite that brought together more than 540 individuals from the cannabis space, including employers and job seekers.

Please stay tuned and check our website for more details soon.To RSVP for Cannabis Unite, click here.

Cannabis Unite, December 2022

Streamlining of Licensing Process and Improvements to the Social Equity Program

On February 28, 2023, the Los Angeles City Council approved a set of DCR recommendations that seek to improve the administration of the City’s commercial cannabis licensing and Social Equity Program. DCR’s report related to Council File no. 21-1083-S1 recommended a number of changes, including:

  • A new and consolidated process for the issuance of Annual Licenses;
  • Restructuring of the license appeal provisions to clarify the availability and timing of appeals to administrative hearing officers, the Cannabis Regulation Commission, and City Council; 
  • The addition of new progressive enforcement tools for Licensees, including a new “Notice to Correct” procedure for minor violations that may not warrant the hefty fines associated with a Notice of Violation; 
  • Consolidation of all reasons for denial, suspension, revocation and disqualification into an independent section;
  • Revisions to the mandatory requirements to establish updated requirements, and removes outdated or duplicative requirements;
  • Removal of unused definitions and the addition of a new definition for “Indirect Owner;”
  • Establishes sunset dates for the City’s Temporary Approval process to coincide with the end of the State’s provisional licensing process; 
  • Expands the refiling process to allow Licensees with an abandoned or expired Temporary Approval or annual License application to refile within three (3) years; and
  • Clarifies that all records, including Local Compliance Underway, must be renewed annually. 

The City Attorney’s Office will present a draft ordinance based on these recommendations that must then be approved by the Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM), the City Council and then signed by Mayor Karen Bass before becoming law. Since the City Council approved the recommendations with an additional urgency clause, the ordinance will become law as soon as it’s signed by the Mayor.

Please visit the DCR website for updates on this pending matter.

The State of Cannabis Regulation in California

On 3/13/2023, Assistant Executive Director, Jason Killeen and Dr. Imani Brown, Social Equity Program Director, provided remarks at the State of Cannabis Regulation in California: Progress, Challenges, and Next Steps oversight . Here they discussed the progress being made toward annual licensure and the opportunities equity applicants are receiving.

The State of Cannabis Regulation in California

On March 17, 2023, the City Council approved a resolution to allow DCR to accept a State grant in the amount of $1,984,947. The grant will be used to assist the City's commercial cannabis Social Equity Program and Social Equity applicants and licensees.

Virtual Lunch Hour

Join DCR’s Assistant Executive Director Jason Killeen for an hour-long virtual Q&A session on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, from 12:00 P.M.-1:00 P.M. Pacific Time. 

Don’t miss out. Grab your lunch and take advantage of this unique opportunity to discuss cannabis licensing with DCR. RSVP today and submit your question(s) ahead of time by clicking the link. Questions sent in advance will be prioritized and answered first. Please note that questions about individual applications will not  be answered in this forum.  You can join the webinar here.

You can watch past Q & A Virtual  Lunch Hours with Jason Killeen here.

Can’t make this event? These Q & A virtual lunch hours will occur monthly.  Check our website for updates and more information.

Here’s a recap of the DCR event Cannabis & Capital on February 24, 2023, as put together by Channel 35’s LA This Week.


Ninety four of Los Angeles’s 99 Neighborhood Councils are holding elections this season. Vote in the election for your Neighborhood Council!

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Neighborhood Councils advocate on issues like homelessness, housing, land use, emergency preparedness, public safety, parks, transportation, and sustainability. They also provide local expertise and a local voice on City operations to their communities.

Each Council holds monthly meetings of their full board, in addition to monthly Committee meetings with a more targeted focus on key issues or projects, like public safety, transportation, homelessness, or land use. All meetings are open to the public.

To find your Neighborhood Council, click here
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