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 Economic Development Department and then be verified as Equity Businesses by the Business License Division. To qualify as an Equity Business, an equity applicant (if sole owner) must have a minimum of 51% ownership in the cannabis business or if multiple equity applicants are listed as owners of the cannabis business, then any one (1) of the equity applicants must hold majority ownership interest in the cannabis business. 
equitybusiness
   

Questions about the
Equity Program?

Contact the
Cannabis Equity Program Team 
at CannabizLB@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

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, 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:
  • Be a natural person; and
  • In the last year, have had an annual family income at or below eighty percent (80%) of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale (LA County) Area Median Income (AMI), and a net worth below $250,000; and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Note: The annual family income is adjusted for family size.                                         See information on income limits
  • Have lived in a Long Beach census tract for a minimum of five (5) years, either consecutively or in total, where at least fifty-one (51%) of current residents have a household income at or below eighty percent (80%) of the Los Angeles Area Median Income; and                                      Check our interactive map.
  • Meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • During the period of 1971-2016, was arrested for, convicted of, or adjudged to be a ward of the juvenile court for any crime under the laws of California or any other jurisdiction relating to the sale, possession, use, manufacture, or cultivation of cannabis; or
    • Has a parent, sibling, or child who, during the period of 1971-2016, was arrested for, convicted of, or adjudged to be a ward of the juvenile court for any crime under the laws of California or any other jurisdiction relating to the sale, possession, use, manufacture, or cultivation of cannabis.

Step 2: Get Verified as an Equity Applicant

Submit a Cannabis Equity Program Verification Form along with the required supporting documentation by mail or email to:

Economic Development Department
Cannabis Equity Program
411 W. Ocean Blvd., 10th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802
Email: CannabizLB@longbeach.gov

Individuals who qualify as Equity Applicants will receive a letter verifying their status as an Equity Applicant in the program. 

Step 3: Meet the Equity Business Ownership Requirement


To qualify as an Equity Business, an equity applicant (if sole owner) must have a minimum of 51% ownership in the cannabis business or if multiple equity applicants are listed as owners of the cannabis business, then any one (1) of the equity applicants must hold majority ownership interest in the cannabis business.

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 by mail to:

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/Cannabis Equity Program 
  • Verification of Equity Business Ownership Form  

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


Have a question?

Please contact the Cannabis Equity Program Team by visiting the Contact Us page.