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Cannabis Social Equity Program

The goal of the Cannabis Social Equity Program is to recognize and address the long-term impact that federal and state cannabis enforcement policies have had on low income communities in the City of Long Beach. 

The Equity Program is designed to support equal opportunity in the cannabis industry by making legal cannabis business ownership and employment opportunities more accessible to low income individuals and communities most impacted by the criminalization of cannabis.

Equity Program Opportunities:

Open an
Equity Business


Individuals who qualify for the Equity Program and want to open a cannabis business in the City of Long Beach are eligible to receive the following assistance to help navigate the City's cannabis application process:

  • Access to application workshops;
  • Fee waivers;
  • Direct grants;
  • Expedited application and facility plan check review;
  • Cultivation tax deferrals;
  • Direct Technical Assistance (Coming Soon).


Get a Job
in Cannabis

Equity Employment

Individuals who qualify for the Equity Program are eligible to receive the following benefits and assistance to get a job in the cannabis industry: 

  • Employment opportunities;
  • Job fairs and orientations;
  • Job search assistance.




The Long Beach City Council passed the Cannabis Shared-Use Manufacturing Ordinance at its meeting on July 13th, 2021. The ordinance includes a prioritized licensing process for equity applicants and also amended the eligibility criteria for equity applicants seeking to participate in the business ownership program. Details about the changes can be found below.

The ordinance will take effect thirty-one (31) days after it is signed into law by Mayor Robert Garcia. View the council meeting and documents related to the ordinance.

Shared-Use Manufacturing License

The shared-use manufacturing ordinance offers new and licensed manufacturing facilities the ability to allow multiple licensed manufactures to produce cannabis products from a single licensed facility. The City will begin accepting Operator applications from equity applicants only for a period of one year or until 15 licenses have been issued, whatever comes sooner.

The City will begin accepting applications for cannabis shared use manufacturing licenses in October once updates have been made to the City’s licensing system.

Equity Applicant Eligibility Criteria

Starting Monday, August 16, 2021, equity applicants will no longer be eligible using the unemployment criteria for the business ownership benefits of the Cannabis Social Equity Program. Applicants who were verified and approved by the City under the unemployment criteria prior to the ordinance taking effect will still be eligible to participate in the Cannabis Social Equity Program. Equity applicants will also still be eligible under the unemployment criteria for the Equity Hire Program. 


On March 15, 2021, GO-Biz announced the recipients of $15 million in equity grant funding to further support local jurisdictions that have adopted a local cannabis equity program. Of this amount, the City of Long Beach was awarded $1,267,044.26 million in GO-Biz grant funds. With additional GO-Biz grant funding, the City will continue to support equity applicants through direct grants, fee waivers, and direct technical assistance. The City will also continue to evaluate and modify the Direct Grants Program as needed, to ensure grant funding is available in the areas that need it the most. The City will also likely make changes to the Direct Grants Program if the City Council adopts any policies to expand equity business ownership in Long Beach, including allowing for shared-use manufacturing facilities, delivery-only licenses, or additional storefront retail licenses in Long Beach.


BCC Equity Grant LogoThe Bureau of Cannabis Control announced the availability of Equity Grant Funding authorized by the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018. The Equity Grant allows for direct assistance to local jurisdictions' commercial cannabis equity programs that provide assistance to local equity applicants or local equity licensees. Click here to learn more.

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DISCLAIMER: This website is provided for members of the public as a resource for general information. The information on this website may be incomplete, contain errors, or change without notice. The information provided is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied upon without first consulting a qualified attorney.