Social Equity Program

Type: Terms

After the legalization of recreational weed in California, advocates worked to get additional support and funding for license applicants who were impacted by the War on Drugs.

Social equity cannabis programs in California usually include removed or reduced fees for applications; grants and funding to support startups; assignment to an incubator to ensure success; and additional training and services.

In Los Angeles, the mission of the Social Equity Program is “to promote equitable ownership and employment opportunities in the cannabis industry in order to decrease disparities in life outcomes for marginalized communities, and to address the disproportionate impacts of the War on Drugs in those communities.”

According to Los Angeles, “Cannabis criminalization and its enforcement has had long-term, adverse impacts to the City of Los Angeles, particularly for low income and minority community members.

The City of Los Angeles is one of the few jurisdictions in the United States attempting to address the impacts of past cannabis policies and their inequities by developing and implementing cannabis policies that seek to center equity in cannabis policy reform.

The Social Equity Program (SEP) is one tool the City of Los Angeles is using to begin to acknowledge and repair the harm caused by the War on Drugs and the disparate enforcement of cannabis prohibition.”