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California DCC now accepting requests for equity fee waivers

Cannabis equity businesses can now request a license fee waiver from the Department of Cannabis Control.

SACRAMENTO and EUREKA, Calif., Jan. 1, 2022 – PRESS RELEASE – The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) in California is now accepting requests for equity fee license waivers from businesses that meet certain eligibility standards.

Fee Waiver Eligibility

The cannabis business must meet the following criteria:

  • Equity ownership: Individuals who meet the equity criteria own 50% or more of the business.
  • Gross revenues: The business has gross revenue of $1.5 million or less per year. If a new applicant, the business expects gross revenue of $1.5 million or less for the first year.

Equity owners must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Cannabis conviction or arrest: The owner was convicted of or arrested for a cannabis offense before Nov. 8, 2016.
  • Household income: The owner’s household income is less than or equal to 60% of the Area Median Income for the local jurisdiction where they live.
  • Neighborhood: The owner lived for at least five years between 1980 and 2016 in an area disproportionately impacted by past criminal justice policies implementing cannabis prohibition. Learn more about qualifying neighborhoods, or use our map tool to see if you lived in a qualifying area.

If you participate in your local jurisdiction’s equity program, you can show you meet the equity criteria through an attestation on the fee waiver form. If you don’t participate in your local equity program or are in a jurisdiction without an equity program, you can submit documents to show your eligibility.

Resources for Equity Businesses

New Web Pages

The state cannabis website, cannabis.ca.gov, has two new pages that explain the eligibility criteria and steps to request a fee waiver.

  • Eligibility criteria: Describes criteria that businesses must meet to receive a fee waiver. This web page includes:
    • An interactive map to help owners determine if they meet residence criteria
    • A chart of area median income, by county of residence, to help owners determine household income limits

Guidance Document

DCC created a guidance document that describes the equity fee waiver program. The document includes:

  • A description of eligibility criteria
  • A list of documents that can be used to demonstrate eligibility
  • Steps to request a fee waiver

Request Form

Download the fee waiver request form. The form will help you submit information needed to evaluate your eligibility.

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