LA Releases new Undue Concentration limits info + Phase 3 Cannabis Zoning for Retail, Delivery, and Testing

LA Releases new Undue Concentration Info + Phase 3 Cannabis Zoning for Retail, Delivery, and Testing

Undue Concentration Limits for Cannabis Retail

The City of LA has limited the number of storefront retail licenses available based on the population and number of already existing dispensaries in each Community Plan Area. You can lookup your Community Plan Area in Zimas under “Jurisdiction.”

DCR has also provided a map of the currently licensed cannabis businesses within the City of LA and remaining number of retail licenses for each Community Plan Area here. Below is an analysis of Undue Concentrations by neighborhood (or Community Plan Area) in LA. Later in the post, you will find information on Commercial Cannabis zoning.

Other activities are also subject to undue concentration limits but so far only maps of storefront retail licenses are available. A summary of the undue concentration limits is provided below. Note that these are maximum limits under the ordinance, and the DCR does not need to meet these maximum numbers of licenses granted.

Undue Concentration Limits - City of LA Cannabis

  • Retail Storefront - 1 license per 10,000 residents

  • Microbusiness Type 12 - 1 license per 7,500 residents

  • Manufacturing Type 7 - 1 license per 7,500 residents

  • Cultivation: ratio of 1 square foot of cultivated area for every 350 square feet of land zoned M1, M2, M3, MR1, and MR2 with a maximum aggregate of 100,000 square feet of cultivated area and a maximum aggregate number of 15 Licenses at a ratio of one License for every 2,500 square feet of allowable cultivated area

There are no undue concentration limits for:

  • Manufacturing (Type 6, N, P, S)

  • Delivery / Non-storefront Retailer (Type 9)

  • Distributor (Type 11) or

  • Testing (Type 8) licenses

Click the chart to expand into a new window.   South Los Angeles  has the highest number of retail licenses available, whereas neighborhoods like  Central City  (Downtown), Port of LA, and  Venice  have zero new retail licenses available.

Click the chart to expand into a new window.

South Los Angeles has the highest number of retail licenses available, whereas neighborhoods like Central City (Downtown), Port of LA, and Venice have zero new retail licenses available.

Undue Concentration Data Sorted from most limited to most available Community Plan Areas:
CPA Retail Licenses Available Retail Licenses Authorized Retail License Capacity
Central City 0 6 4
Central City North 0 6 3
Harbor Gateway 0 5 5
Los Angeles International Airport 0 0 0
Port of Los Angeles 0 0 0
Sherman Oaks - Studio City - Toluca Lake - Cahuenga Pass 0 13 9
Sun Valley - La Tuna Canyon 0 11 9
Venice 0 7 4
West Los Angeles 2 6 8
Bel Air - Beverly Crest 3 0 3
Westchester - Playa del Rey 3 3 6
Boyle Heights 4 5 9
Northridge 4 3 7
Sunland - Tujunga - Lake View Terrace - Shadow Hills - East La Tuna Canyon 4 3 7
Sylmar 4 5 9
Westwood 4 2 6
Chatsworth - Porter Ranch 5 6 11
Encino - Tarzana 5 3 8
North Hollywood - Valley Village 5 9 14
Silver Lake - Echo Park - Elysian Valley 5 3 8
Van Nuys - North Sherman Oaks 5 12 17
Brentwood - Pacific Palisades 6 0 6
Canoga Park - Winnetka - Woodland Hills - West Hills 6 13 19
Reseda - West Van Nuys 6 6 12
Wilmington - Harbor City 6 3 9
Granada Hills - Knollwood 7 0 7
Hollywood 8 13 21
San Pedro 8 0 8
Arleto-Pacoima 10 1 11
West Adams - Baldwin Hills - Leimert 10 8 18
Palms - Mar Vista - Del Rey 11 1 12
Westlake 11 1 12
Mission Hills - Panorama City - North Hills 12 3 15
Northeast Los Angeles 20 5 25
Southeast Los Angeles 21 8 29
Wilshire 21 8 29
South Los Angeles 26 2 28

Certain neighborhoods in Los Angeles already exceed the maximum number of cannabis dispensaries for the population in their Community Plan Area. Also, neighborhoods that are only issuing 3-4 new licenses could be very competitive depending on how many nearby applicants there will be. Under the current ordinance from April 12th, 2019, the applicant who submits a complete application first will prevail over another one within 700 feet or that exceeds the Community Plan limits.

LA Commercial Cannabis Zoning Requirements

All zoning related to commercial cannabis activity in the City of Los Angeles is determined by the Department of City Planning. The requirements covered in this post cover the areas within the City limits of L.A. For LA County commercial cannabis zoning and information check out their website. The Los Angeles municipal code allows for commercial cannabis activities in certain commercial, manufacturing and industrial zones within certain plan areas of Los Angeles - for the full list and complete details read the code here. Note that limited grandfathering exists for EMMDs, so some already existing licensed dispensaries may not meet the City’s zoning requirements but may still be compliant. For new applicants considering applications in Phase 3 under the social equity program or otherwise, many are wondering how to check if a property meets the City’s requirements.

As a condition of allowing for commercial cannabis activities in the City, the Code requires that commercial cannabis activities be located a certain distance away from sensitive use areas, which vary according to activity. The distance for the sensitive uses is measured by a straight line from property line to property line. You can lookup an address and check the zoning for a property in a free tool provided by City of LA provided by City Planning called Zimas - http://zimas.lacity.org/

Check zoning information on Zimas.

Check zoning information on Zimas.

A summary of zoning & sensitive use distancing requirements is provided below for Phase 3 cannabis activities, and testing, which is still open:

LA Cannabis Retail:

Permitted Zoning

Zoning includes but is not limited to:

  • C1 Limited Commercial Zone

  • C1.5 Limited Commercial Zone

  • C2 Commercial Zone

  • C4 Commercial Zone

  • C5 Commercial Zone

  • CM Commercial Manufacturing Zone

  • M1 Limited Industrial Zone

  • M2 Light Industrial Zone

  • M3 Heavy Industrial Zone

  • & Additional Zones depending on which zoning area in the City you are in.

Sensitive Uses

Storefront retail must be outside of a 700-foot radius of:

  • Other licensed cannabis dispensaries, measured in a horizontal line from the closest exterior wall of one business to the closest exterior wall of the other

  • Schools, measured in a horizontal line from the closest exterior wall of the cannabis business to the property line of the sensitive use

  • Public parks

  • Public libraries

  • Alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities

  • Daycares

  • Permanent Supportive Housing

  • Open Space (O/S) zones

LA Cannabis Delivery Zoning:

Permitted Zoning

  • Zoning categories same as above.

Sensitive Uses

  • 600 feet away from a school, measured in a horizontal line from the closest exterior wall of the cannabis business to the property line of the sensitive use

LA Cannabis Testing:

Permitted Zoning

  • CM Commercial Manufacturing Zone

  • MR1 Restricted Industrial Zone

  • M1 Limited Industrial Zone

  • MR2 Restricted Light Industrial Zone

  • M2 Light Industrial Zone

  • M3 Heavy Industrial Zone

  • & Certain other commercial and industrial zones depending on where in the City they are located.

Sensitive Uses

  • 600 feet away from a school, measured in a horizontal line from the closest exterior wall of the cannabis business to the property line of the sensitive use

This is a working document to begin your due diligence on a compliant property. A professional zoning assessment by a reputable title company is recommended before committing to a property.

Lauren Estevez

Lauren Estevez is an attorney who advises international, multi-state and California cannabis brands, operators, and investors. She is nationally recognized as a subject matter expert in Cannabis Law and her work has been featured on CNBC, Bloomberg Law, and SXSW. The National Law Journal awarded Lauren the recognition of Cannabis Law Trailblazer in 2019. Lauren is the founder of LME Law.