How LA weed regulators are trying to help people of color get dispensary licenses

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Cannabis plants in WonderBrett’s indoor grow house in Long Beach. LA will now distribute 200 dispensary licenses, up from 100, to people who meet the requirements for the Social Equity Program. Photo by Jenna Kagel.

Cannabis dispensaries are an essential business that have remained open through the pandemic. But many Angelenos have long complained that white people are predominantly profiting in the industry. 

LA has tried to mitigate that with their “Social Equity Program.” The program allows people affected by the war on drugs to be prioritized in getting dispensary licenses. But since the program began, it has been riddled with issues. Last week, the LA City Council voted unanimously to overhaul it, hoping to repair some of the damage.

Credits

Guest:
Abdullah Saeed - Cannabis media maker and host of the podcast Great Moments in Weed History

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel, Kathryn Barnes