LA Phase 3 Social Equity - Which Zip Codes Qualify? - Feb. 19, 2019

LA Phase 3 - Social Equity Program Zip Codes & Ordinance Update

After Friday’s Rules Committee meeting, many Phase 3 would-be LA cannabis retailers are taking a second look at the Social Equity Program. The current proposal will prioritize Social Equity candidates over general applicants - 40 of the 60 delivery licenses under the pilot program will go to Social Equity projects and the first 100 retailer licenses in L.A. will be issued to Social Equity Program candidates before additional licenses are open to general applicants, if the DCR’s current recommendations pass.

For the most updated Guide to Phase 3 (July 2019) click here:

The Rules Committee requested that the City Attorney draft an Ordinance with amendments to the cannabis program including:

  • Allowing DCR to issue temporary approvals for Phase 3;

  • Potentially allowing co-locating of stores within 1,000 feet of each other (similar to Seattle’s program);

  • Creating a Social Equity Registry platform like San Francisco did;

  • Increasing the limit of delivery inventory to $5,000, consistent with State Law.

L.A. is slowly moving towards Phase 3 of cannabis licensing.

L.A. is slowly moving towards Phase 3 of cannabis licensing.

By way of background, in order to participate in Social Equity Tier 1 or Tier 2, a certain percentage of your company must be owned by a qualifying Social Equity candidate.

  • Tier 1 - 51% or more of the company must be owned by a Social Equity candidate

  • Tier 2 - 33.33% or more of the company must be owned by a Social Equity candidate.

While originally there were separate categories for Tier 1 and Tier 2, DCR has proposed streamlining them and allowing anyone who qualifies by way of one of the three categories below to be considered a Social Equity Applicant. The three categories are:

  • Low income + prior California cannabis arrest or conviction prior to November 8, 2016

  • Low income + lived 5 years or more in a Disproportionate Impact Neighborhood

  • Lived for 10 years or more in a Disproportionate Impact Neighborhood

Which Zip Codes qualify for LA’s Social Equity program?

The zip codes that qualify for the Social Equity Program are outlined in the below table (which is searchable).

Note - City Council is considering adding additional zip codes in the San Fernando Valley, Boyle Heights, and Downtown to this list. The DCR analysis is currently underway and I will update with additional zip codes when there is a decision.

LA Social Equity Zip Codes and Police Reporting Districts

Police Reporting DistrictNeighborhoodZip Code
1266Vermont Knolls90003
363Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw90008
362Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw90008
361Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw90008
155Downtown (Skid Row)90013
157Downtown (Skid Row)90013
363Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw90016
156Downtown (San Julian Park)90013
362Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw90016
361Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw90016
157Downtown (Skid Row)90021
649East Hollywood90027
467Boyle Heights90033
397Vermont Square90037
398Vermont Square90037
1241Hyde Park90043
392Hyde Park/Crenshaw90043
1266Vermont Knolls90044
1256Vermont Knolls90044
1249Vermont Slauson90044
245MacArthur Park90057
1844Green Meadows90059
1844Green Meadows90061
397Vermont Square90062
392Hyde Park/Crenshaw90062
1203Vermont Square90062

Source: City of LA Cannabis Rules and Regulations for Cannabis Procedures. Regulation #13. July 2018. Accessed Feb. 19, 2019.

How can I show that I or my business partner qualifies for the Social Equity Program?

Some of the documents you can use to prove you qualify for the Social Equity Program are:

  • Tax Returns (for low income)

  • Police Report, Court Records (to show a prior California cannabis arrest or conviction)

  • Lease or sublease for an address in a Disproportionate Impact Area

  • Utility Bills or Bank Statements sent to an address in a Disproportionate Impact Area

Lauren Estevez.png

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.