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Posted on 10/12/2023
October News Bulletin


In the last few months of the year, the Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) is ramping up its work as it guides applicants through a few different activities: the 2024 License Renewal cycle, the Annual Licensing process, and the Public Convenience or Necessity (PCN) process. In addition, DCR is tracking a number of state legislative initiatives that could affect local licensed cannabis businesses and applicants. Keeping our communities abreast of these matters including our local cannabis community, elected officials and the City at large are key to the success of the cannabis licensing program.

DCR’s goals are to support the success of current and future licensed cannabis businesses through transparency, educational opportunities, and exceptional customer service, and to keep Angelenos informed and engaged with how cannabis licensing programs might affect them.

Therefore, to better engage with Angelenos, staff from DCR’s Social Equity Program has started attending large community events to talk to local residents one-on-one about DCR’s mission and programming and give Angelenos a chance to address the cannabis-related issues important to them. Most recently, DCR sponsored a booth at the Central Avenue Jazz Festival for staff to meet directly with residents that attended. DCR plans to participate in events like this in the future. Please reach out to if you would like to have DCR included in your future community event.

For those interested in keeping abreast of DCR news, I urge you to sign up for DCR emails, follow our social media accounts, and participate in upcoming webinars, including our monthly Q&A Virtual Lunch Hour sessions where anyone can ask questions about legal cannabis topics they would like to learn more about.

Finally, I would like to wish all a happy Filipino American History Month.

As always, you can reach out to DCR through email at and by phone at (213) 978-0738.

Michelle Garakian    
Interim Executive Director

DCR Jazzed It Up

DCR Jazzed It Up

The Central Avenue Jazz Festival returned to the streets of Los Angeles on September 23, 2023, and DCR was there for it. With informational brochures in hand, DCR staff greeted attendees and talked about cannabis in their community.

Jazz Fest 1

Musicians parade up Central Avenue during the jazz festival.

Jazz Fest 2

Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr. (CD-9) takes a moment to pose with DCR staff.

Nearly 5,000 people attended the jazz festival sponsored by Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr. (CD-9) and other community based organizations. It featured three musical stages, booths from many City departments, food, and areas for dancing. DCR’s Social Equity Program has made a commitment to attend more events like these to provide educational opportunities to the community — discussing its programs, services, and job opportunities within the cannabis industry.

“DCR’s Social Equity Program is specifically designed to build a cannabis industry in this city that reflects the community it serves and that provides business and job opportunities in communities deeply affected by the inequitable enforcement of drug policies of the past,” said Dr. Imani Brown, Director of the Social Equity Program. “This event brings our community together and we are honored to be part of it.”

Jazz Fest 3
Jazz Fest 4
Jazz Fest 5
Jazz Fest 6

DCR staff talk to local residents at the Central Avenue Jazz Festival about its licensing program while enjoying the sights and sounds of the event.

Opportunities like this jazz festival allow DCR to emphasize the importance of shopping at legal cannabis retail stores for public health and safety reasons, provide information about legal adult use of cannabis, and make DCR staff available to the community.

DCR processes applications for cannabis businesses that include retail storefront, delivery, distribution, manufacturing, cultivation and testing. The department is also tasked with verifying that existing legal cannabis businesses are in compliance with local and state laws. Finally, DCR has the largest Social Equity Program in the country and assists social equity applicants with online training sessions, one-on-one business coaching, and business networking events.

To learn more about DCR’s Social Equity program, visit its page on the DCR website. To learn about upcoming DCR events, visit the events page on the DCR website

Pro Bono Low Bono Legal Services Expanded

Pro Bono - Low Bono Legal Services Expanded

All Social Equity Individual Applicants who have passed the Pre-Application stage are now eligible to apply for Pro Bono - Low Bono Legal Services offered by the Department’s Social Equity Program in partnership with the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA).

Access to affordable legal services continues to be a major barrier for the Social Equity community. It is critical that Social Equity Individual Applicants and licensees seek and obtain legal counsel early to avoid predatory practices, pitfalls, and mistakes. Applicants can apply to receive up to 40 hours of legal services: 10 hours of free pro bono assistance and 30 hours of low bono assistance for $35 per hour.

Social Equity Individual Applicants deemed eligible will be referred to a LACBA member attorney. Applicants will be contacted directly by LACBA and/or the assigned attorney that specializes in contracts, leases, business structure, labor law, landlord/tenant law, and more.

To access the DCR-LACBA legal services, complete and submit the forms below:

Please contact us at if you have any questions. For more information please visit the DCR’s Social Equity Program’s Pro Bono / Low Bono Legal Services web page.


California Workforce Development

Cannabis Workforce Development

For those who have thought about working in the cannabis industry but didn’t know how to start, visit the DCR Social Equity Program Job Board for a listing of available jobs. Learning the business from the inside may provide opportunities for growth and for other future ventures. The Job Board is updated monthly. Good luck!

Legislative Update

Legislative Update

Critical Social Equity Cannabis Legislation Gets Governor Newsom's Signature

Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 51 (Bradford) on October 8, 2023.

SB 51 allows California’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) to continue to issue provisional licenses for retail cannabis activities to social equity applicants, if they meet specified requirements. DCC had been able to issue provisional licenses to social equity applicants only through June 30, 2023. DCR will assess the impact on applicants and potentially adjust its procedures for this new state provisional licensing extension. SB 51 goes into effect January 1, 2024.

Compliance and Enforcement Reminder

Compliance & Enforcement Reminder

On October 5th, DCR sent out a reminder to Applicants who have only received a Notice of Local Compliance Underway and do not have Temporary Approval yet, detailing that engaging in Commercial Cannabis Activity without having dual licensure from the City and the State is a violation which may subject the business/and or Applicant to any and all civil, criminal, and/or administrative actions and penalties under the law, including, but not limited to, the denial of an Annual License by the DCR. To read the communication in its entirety please click here.

License Renewal Deadline and Renewal Recording

License Renewal Deadline & Webinar Recording

In case you missed the 2024 License Renewal Process Webinar from September 20, 2023, the recording and materials are now available on the DCR website.

The Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) renewal cycle for 2024 opened on Saturday, September 2, 2023 and closes on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. Some of the required forms have changed (see below) since the last renewal period and will require extra time to complete. After applicant submission, DCR will review all forms and provide a 30-day period for applicants to review and correct incomplete forms.

All License and Application Records must be renewed, including Temporary Approvals and Application records with a status of Local Compliance Underway. 2023 records will expire after 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2023. Pre-Application Records are not subject to renewal requirements and automatically expire one-year after a status of “Eligible for Processing” is granted.

All persons who allow their Temporary Approval(s) to expire and who continue to engage in Commercial Cannabis Activity are subject to enforcement action(s) and/or criminal penalties for unlicensed Commercial Cannabis Activity. (Los Angeles Municipal (“LAMC”) section 104.15.)

This recorded webinar provides detailed step-by-step instructions on navigating the licensing portal to renew the license and applications records. It will also review the documents needed and applicable fees. A communication with these steps and costs was sent out to all applicants and licensees on Friday, September 8 via email.

Step-by-step instructions to renew your Temporary Approval(s):

  1. Log into the DCR Licensing Portal.
  2. Licensees with an existing Legal Business Entity Record number may skip to Step 6. All other Licensees must click on “Apply for a License,” read the general disclaimer, and accept the terms.
  3. Click on “Legal Business Entity Record,” select “Legal Business Entity Application” and click “Continue” to begin the Legal Business Entity Application process.
  4. Complete the Legal Business Entity Application.
    1. If the Licensee does not have a Legal Business Entity Record, one must be created before a 2023 renewal application is submitted. You may re-submit the same forms already submitted to DCR as part of a Temporary Approval Application or Pre-Application Review. Alternatively, you may submit updated forms, subject to the payment of applicable modification fees. Forms can be accessed on the DCR’s Application Forms and Documents webpage.
    2. To learn more about the Legal Business Entity Record, please join the Special Edition: Q & A Virtual Lunch Hour with Jason Killeen taking place on Thursday, Sep 15, 2022 at 12:00 P.M. Please RSVP here. If you are unable to attend, a video of the event will be archived on the DCR website here
  5. Once submitted, a Legal Business Entity Record number will be assigned. This number is required to submit a 2023 renewal application.
  6. Navigate to “My Records.”
  7. A 2023 renewal application must be submitted for all records with the “Eligible for Renewal” status.
  8. Click on “Renew or Modify” to begin your 2023 renewal application.
  9. Complete the 2023 renewal application.
  10. Upon submission, you will receive a message that “Your renewal application has been successfully submitted.”
  11. Click on the record details to access your 2023 renewal application.
  12. Click on “Record Info.”
  13. Click on “Attachments.”
  14. Click on the document beginning with “Fees_and_Payments_Custom_Invoice.” This document is your 2023 Temporary Approval Renewal Application Invoice.
  15. Pay the 2023 renewal invoice by the “Void if not Paid Date.”
  16. Your renewal application will not be deemed filed until the 2023 renewal application is submitted via the DCR Licensing Portal and all required payments are made. (LAMC Section 104.03(b).)