Council President Herb Wesson
The Los Angeles City Council has voted to move forward a measure to provide the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) with $3 million annually for the next three year to fund the City’s Cannabis Social Equity Program, in addition to $1.5 million to be allocated immediately for the program.
“As a Council it’s our job to do right for the people in our city whose lives have been adversely affected by the War on Drugs,” said Council President Herb Wesson. “The City’s Social Equity program is at the crux of our efforts to right these wrongs. This vote today makes clear that we are committed in our pursuit of justice for the marginalized communities that have been most negatively impacted.”
The measure, which was approved by the Budget & Finance and Rules, Elections, & Intergovernmental Relations Committees in the last several months, passed unanimously with 12 ayes and 3 councilmembers absent. The $3 million annually will go toward business and technical assistance programs for applicants and public outreach.
Funding for the Social Equity Program is part of a larger effort across the region to provide opportunities for economically disadvantaged individuals and low-income communities in the state’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry. The vote comes on the heels of Los Angeles County’s announcement of plans to dismiss and reduce up to 50,000 previous marijuana-related convictions from the records of those convicted.
The City of Los Angeles’ Social Equity Program is aimed at promoting equitable ownership and employment opportunities in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. It is the City’s goal to have the program serve as a means to decrease disparities in life outcomes for marginalized communities and to address the disproportionate impacts of the war on drugs in those communities.
The full text of the item can be found in the April 10 council agenda, Item 24.