The change will allow businesses that infuse concentrates into products, extract cannabis oils using butter or oils or just package and label products to use the same space, similar to a commercial kitchen, but the law will require common-use space to be used at scheduled times by individual operators.
The tweak to the law will prioritize equity applicants——those who have lower incomes, live in underserved parts of town or have prior criminal records tied to cannabis—for up to one year, or until 15 licenses have been issued to equity applicants, whichever happens first. It also removed a requirement for equity applicants to be receiving unemployment benefits to qualify. The move comes after years of complaints about the lack of diversity of owners in the industry.
Earlier this year the City Council voted to look at opening up shared-use opportunities in the city in part to expand opportunities for equity applicants to enter the industry. Long Beach’s voter-approved cannabis measure allows for 32 dispensaries, all of which have been permitted or are already open.
Emily Armstrong, the city’s cannabis program manager, said that the barrier to entry would be lower with the shared-use model, noting that a business owner going it