Long Beach could expand its cannabis social equity program by allowing only delivery companies and increasing the number of pharmacies in the city.
Residents can currently purchase cannabis for home delivery. But this marijuana comes from a pharmacy.
That could change soon, however.
The city council will decide Tuesday, Oct. 12, whether the city attorney will be directed to enact an ordinance that will allow Long Beach businesses to sell cannabis-only by delivery without having a brick-and-mortar store, according to an employee audit report .
The Council should vote on this regulation as soon as it is ready.
However, the council has three options on how the city could move forward with the expansion of the program.
Two of these include allowing these companies to be exclusive to those eligible for the social justice program.
Because the city only allows cannabis businesses in certain areas of Long Beach, the staff report said, it can be difficult for equity seekers to secure property in any of these zones. The approval of delivery-only companies could allow more capital contenders to enter the cannabis industry.
The city can also expand the number of pharmacies in the city, and possibly add eight more, but these would also be exclusively available to equity seekers. To qualify, equity applicants must meet one of the following requirements:
- Had an annual family income of 80% or less than the region’s median income last year.
- Have a net worth less than $ 250,000.
- You have either lived for three years in a Long Beach census area, where the majority of residents have incomes 80% or less than the median income for the area, or were arrested prior to November 8, 2016 for a cannabis offense.
- Is a resident who is receiving unemployment benefits.
Long Beach officials have also asked the council to spend $ 325,000 on expanding the program, according to the personnel report. The city would use that money to pay for new software for the program and support new cannabis business licenses, the personnel report said.
Long Beach launched the Social Justice Program in 2018 to ensure that those who have been victims of cannabis crime in the past have an opportunity to capitalize on the now legal industry.
In July, the city expanded the social justice program to enable the production of cannabis for common use. That means those who want to make cannabis but don’t have the capital to build their own facilities can rent space from larger companies that are already making the product.
However, some critics said that still has not done enough for those harmed by the war on drugs.
Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with hand-picked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here.