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Los Angeles City Council Backs Major Changes To Marijuana Licensing, Social Equity

The Council voted on the changes last Wednesday

The Los Angeles City Council gave its initial approval to sweeping changes to the city’s marijuana business licensing and social equity program, ending months of delays that had held up the permitting process and sparked widespread frustration among stakeholders.

The proposals – which range from minor tweaks to major changes such as awarding retail licenses only to social equity applicants until 2025 – were championed by the L.A. Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR), which sent the recommendations to the City Council last week.

The Council voted on the changes Wednesday. It must approve them once more, and then the mayor must sign off before the changes are implemented.

“If this is adopted, we’re going to walk away with the strongest protections. I think we’ll be back in front of Council with additional recommendations. … But I appreciate the Council’s support on these recommendations today,” DCR Executive Director Cat Packer said during Wednesday’s hearing while discussing requested protections from “predatory practices” for social equity participants.

Packer added she hopes to make both delivery licenses and storefront retail permits available as quickly as possible to social equity applicants in order to restart the licensing process, which has been on hold since last fall.

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