Open an Equity Business

Individuals who qualify for the Equity Program and want to open an adult-use cannabis business in Long Beach are eligible to receive benefits and assistance to help navigate the City's cannabis application and licensing process.

To qualify for the Equity Program, individuals must be verified as Equity Applicants by the Office of Cannabis Oversight and have a minimum of 51% ownership of the entity that will apply for an Adult-Use Cannabis Business License.

Questions about the
Equity Program?

Contact the Office of Cannabis
Oversight at (562) 570-5250


Equity program benefits include:

  • Application workshops. Get assistance on how to prepare and submit a complete cannabis business license application and learn strategies on how to increase opportunities for approval at each stage of the application process.
  • Fee waivers. The application review fee, background investigation fee, first year regulatory fee and ongoing social equity program fee will be waived for your initial application, which amounts to a savings of approximately $6,000.
  • Expedited application and plan check review. Equity Businesses will receive priority application review and facility plan check review, allowing them to move quicker through the application process.
  • Cultivation tax deferrals. Equity owned cultivation businesses may pay their first year's taxes on a monthly payment plan instead of the full payment that is usually required prior to issuance of a cannabis cultivation business license.
For more information on the City's cannabis business license process, please view our page.

Steps to Open an Equity Business

 Step 1: Check to see if you qualify as an Equity Applicant

To qualify as an Equity Applicant, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Apply as a person, not a company
  • In the last year, your annual family income was at or below 80% Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale (LA County) Area Median Income (AMI). Your annual family income is adjusted for family size. See information on income limits.
  • Have a net worth below $250,000
  • Satisfy at least 1 of the following 3 criteria:
    • Have lived in a Long Beach census tract for a minimum of 3 years where at least 51% of current residents have a household income at or below 80% of the Los Angeles Area Median Income. Check map.
    • Was arrested or convicted for a crime relating to the sale, possession, use, or cultivation of cannabis in the City of Long Beach prior to November 8, 2016 that could have been prosecuted as a misdemeanor or citation under California law.
    • Is a Long Beach resident currently receiving unemployment benefits.

Step 2: Get Verified as an Equity Applicant

Submit a Cannabis Social Equity Program Verification Form along with supporting documentation to the Office of Cannabis Oversight (OCO).

Office of Cannabis Oversight
Long Beach City Hall
411 W. Ocean Blvd., 10th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802

Individuals who qualify as Equity Applicants will receive a verification letter from the OCO, verifying their status as an Equity Applicant.

Step 3: Meet the Equity Business Ownership Requirement

To qualify as an Equity Business, Equity Applicants must have a minimum of 51% ownership of the business applying for an Adult-Use Cannabis Business License. The requirement can be met by one or multiple Equity Applicants collectively.

Complete a Verification of Equity Business Ownership Form to be included with your Adult-Use Cannabis Business License Application. All owners of the business must sign and verify that the business meets this requirement. 

Step 4: Apply for an Adult-Use Cannabis Business License

Visit the Cannabis Business Information page for information on how to apply for an Adult-Use Cannabis Business License.

PLEASE NOTE: To apply as an Equity Business, the following documents must be included with the cannabis business license application:
  • Verification letter issued by the Office of Cannabis Oversight 
  • Verification of Equity Business Ownership Form  

Have a question?

Please contact the Office of Cannabis Oversight by visiting the Contact Us page.