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 then be verified as Equity Businesses by the Business License Division. To qualify as an Equity Business, Equity Applicants must have a minimum of 51% ownership of the entity that will apply for an Adult-Use Cannabis Business License.
equitybusiness
   

Questions about the
Equity Program?

Contact the Office of Cannabis
Oversight at cannabisoversight@longbeach.gov

   

Equity Program Benefits

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

All zoning, application, plan check, inspection and other applicable City fees are waived for Equity Businesses. Fee waivers will cover City costs that Equity Businesses would otherwise incur through the cannabis business license application and permitting process, thus allowing Equity Businesses to conserve resources for other costs associated with opening a cannabis business in Long Beach.

*Direct Grants

Direct grants are intended to offset non-City costs associated with completing each phase of the cannabis business license application and permitting process. Equity Applicants and Equity Businesses who complete cannabis business licensing direct grant milestones are eligible to receive the grant amount associated with each milestone. To learn more or apply for a direct grant, please click here: Direct Grants Program

Expedited application review

Equity Businesses will receive priority application review, allowing them to move quicker through the application process.

Cultivation tax deferrals

Equity Businesses who applied for an adult-use cannabis cultivation license 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.

*Direct Technical Assistance
(Coming Soon)

Equity Applicants and Equity Businesses will have access to business consulting services to start, sustain and grow a viable cannabis business in Long Beach. 


*Note: 
Fee waivers (except for application fees), direct grants and direct technical assistance are made available through grant funding provided by the State of California. Grant funding will only be available until funds are exhausted, or until the State mandated expiration of the equity grant program on August 31, 2021, whichever occurs sooner.


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 2 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 our interactive 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.                                              

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
Email: cannabisoversight@longbeach.gov

Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Due to COVID-19, City Hall is currently closed to the public. During this time, cannabis social equity program applications may only be submitted by mail or email to the address above.

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

To apply for an adult-use cannabis business license, please complete the following steps:
  1. Determine the type of adult-use cannabis business license you want to apply for. For more information, please visit the Adult-Use Cannabis Business Licenses webpage.
  2. Submit a Cannabis Business License Application to the following address:

Long Beach City Hall
Business License Division 
411 W. Ocean Blvd., 6th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802

PLEASE NOTE: To apply as an Equity Business, the following requirements/documents must be included in your cannabis business license application:
  • On page 1 of the application, under Section B - Application Type, select adult-use 
  • On page 1 of the application, under Section D - Equity Status Information, select "Yes", you are applying as an Equity Business and attach the following documentation:
    • Verification letter issued by the Office of Cannabis Oversight
    • Verification of Equity Business Ownership Form  

Due to COVID-19, City Hall is currently closed to the public. During this time, cannabis business license applications may only be submitted by mail to the address above.

For more information on the City's cannabis business license process, please visit the Cannabis Business Information webpage.


Have a question?

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