It’s been a while since we’ve written about the unfolding cannabis licensing situation in the City of Los Angeles, and a lot has happened. For some background on LA’s complicated licensing process, it has proceeded to date in multiple “phases” administered by the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (“DCR”):
The first phase was limited to certain qualifying existing medical marijuana dispensaries (or “EMMDs”), and so far a little under 200 have been issued. The second phase was open for only certain qualifying non-retail businesses with social equity requirements. It’s not clear yet how many phase 2 licenses have been issued. The first round of the third phase (yes, there will be multiple rounds) opened for a 14-day period for only very small amount of social equity retail licenses on September 3, 2019.
In September 2019, the City opened up a limited retail licensing phase (this was Phase 3, Round 1), where 100 licenses were available on a first-come, first-served basis. DCR received several hundred applications in the first few minutes. After the first round was over, LA City Council member Herb Wesson alleged in a letter to DCR that:
Over the last couple of weeks, including at the Cannabis Regulation Commission