Social Equity Applicant Checklist

Are you interested in applying for a retail cannabis license through the social equity program? We encourage you to follow the steps below to learn more! Click here to download a printable version of this checklist. (Versión en Español)

Time: 15 minutes

Check to see if you qualify as a Social Equity applicant.
To be considered for the social equity program, the following requirements must be met by each applicant:

  • At least a 51 percent majority, or controlling interest, in the applicant, must be held by a person(s), who has or have resided in Washington state for six months prior to the application date, and meets at least two of the following qualifications:
    • lived in a disproportionately impacted area (DIA) in Washington state for a minimum of five years between 1980 and 2010 - check your address history on the DIA map here; OR
    • applicant or a family member has been arrested or convicted of a cannabis offense; OR
    • household income was less than the median household income within the state of Washington ($82,400

Time: 10 hours

Register for the Technical Assistance Program.
Check out all of the educational videos and worksheets available through MakeGreenGo!'s Technical Assistance Program. These are self-paced recordings on cannabis business topics. This includes courses on creating a successful cannabis business and specifics on the LCB's application process.

Register for a free account here.

Time: 10 minutes

Create a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account.
Create an account by navigating to the SAW login page and clicking "Sign Up!" in the top right-hand corner.

Enter your first name, last name, email, desired username and password. You can also submit your mobile phone number and an alternate email as a backup. Verify you are not a robot by following the prompts. Submit your registration form.

Check your email and click on the activation link provided to finalize your account registration.  

If you are having trouble registering for a SAW account, you can click "Get Help" in the top right-hand corner of the SAW login page.

Time: 30 minutes 

Watch a webinar replay.
In collaboration with MakeGreenGo!, the LCB hosted pre-recorded webinars in Jan. 2023 for potential social equity applicants to attend, learn more about the program and application process, and ask questions with LCB staff live. If you missed these webinars, you can still register for and view a replay. You will not be able to ask questions of staff, but you can check out our FAQ page and submit your own questions after you view the session.

Register for and view the webinar replay here.

Time: 30 minutes 

Register with the Secretary of State if selecting a corporation or LLC structure for your business.
If you are choosing to create a new business entity to run your business, such as a corporation, you will need to start by registering that new entity with Secretary of State. You can do this by creating an account with Secretary of State at this link. On this page, click the green box on the right that says “create an account." After clicking, it will walk you through the registration process.

Once your entity has been registered you will be assigned a Unified Business Identification called a UBI.

You will need this UBI to proceed to the application process with BLS if you are applying under a corporation or an LLC. You can learn more about small business structures here.

Time: 30 - 60 minutes

Develop your social equity plan.
A Social Equity Plan including goals is required by law for Social Equity Program applicants. Social equity goals are intended to reduce accumulated harm suffered by communities subjected to impacts from the historical application and enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

For additional training and guidance on developing and submitting your Social Equity Plan, sign up for the Technical Assistance Program to view lesson 5 in the Social Equity Program Education titled "How to Complete the Social Equity Plan."

View more information on the Social Equity Plan here.

Time: 60 minutes

Prepare verifying documentation.
In order to verify your eligibility as a social equity applicant, you must submit applicable documents to third-party contractor Ponder Diversity Group with your application. For scoring and eligibility criteria, you can view the rubric here

View a list of example verification documents here.

Time: 60 minutes

Submit your application between Mar. 1 and Mar. 30.
The LCB will be opening the application window for 30 days. You must submit a completed application during this time. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications early in the window, in case the third party contractor (Ponder Diversity Group) needs to follow up for additional documentation or information. Applications will be available through the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service (BLS).

You will log in here using your SAW credentials.

Stay tuned to the LCB Social Equity web page for updates.
The LCB will be updating this Social Equity Program web page with relevant updates as they are available. Keep an eye on our website for more information.


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