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The panel voted unanimously at its Tuesday, Jan. 5, meeting

Efforts to open up Long Beach’s cannabis industry to people of color who were disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs have had little success so far. But the City Council is committed to changing that.

The panel voted unanimously at its Tuesday, Jan. 5, meeting to direct the city manager to prepare an ordinance that would allow for multiple cannabis manufacturers to operate out of the same location and to look into the possibility of licensing and regulating delivery-only cannabis businesses, which are currently banned in Long Beach. To participate in either program, business owners must live in a lower income census tract or have been arrested for a minor cannabis offense.

The proposals are necessary, according to Ajay Kolluri with the city’s Office of Cannabis Oversight, because Long Beach’s current Cannabis Social Equity Program, which was approved in 2018, has only issued one license, even though 79 people have qualified.

That’s because the incentives that are already in place, which include fee waivers, grants, access to application workshops and more, Kolluri said, “have not been enough to push the vast majority of equity applicants through the application process.”

There are still significant barriers to business ownership, he added, which include state regulations and access to capital, that are beyond the city’s control.

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