Cannabis Social Equity

Applications for the Social Equity Program are now available. The LCB is bringing forward an emergency rule to extend the application window to April 27, 2023. Over 40 licenses that were forfeited, cancelled, revoked or never issued will be available in specific jurisdictions across the state.



This page offers the most up-to-date information about the Social Equity Program and is updated regularly as information is available. Check out our page on what the LCB is doing now for our recent updates.

Update March 24, 2023: the Rules Team is bringing an emergency rule proposal to extend the application deadline for social equity cannabis retail licenses from March 30, 2023 to April 27, 2023. This extension will be presented to the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting on March 29, 2023. 

Interested in Applying?

The Social Equity Program application window is now open. Applicants are encouraged to review the resources below to best prepare to apply.

  • Learn more about the steps you can take to prepare to apply with our applicant checklist.
  • Apply for the Social Equity Program through Business Licensing Services (BLS) via the Department of Revenue here.
    • After the license application window closes, applicants will receive an invitation to a portal from Ponder Diversity Group to submit a social equity application. This application will verify applicant's information and ask for supplemental documentation. You will not be able to make changes after you submit either of these applications. See the applicant checklist for more information.
    • The Secretary of State is experiencing a high volume of applications. Applicants can go in person to their office hours for same day service are Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm and their request will be processed same day. If they have already applied and are waiting for their UBI, they can ask for a status update using the email and please ensure to add “LCB deadline” in the subject line. They can also pay an additional fee at the time of application with the Secretary of State to expedite their request. 
  • See how applications will be scored on the finalized rubric(Versión en Español) recently updated with clarifying information.
  • See if you have address history in a Disproportionately Impacted Area (DIA) by accessing the map here.
  • Check out more information on the allotted licenses for the social equity program here.
  • Read the announcement of the March 1, 2023 opening in Spanish (Versión en Español)
  • Questions? See if your questions have been addressed on our FAQ page, or submit your own


Background of the Social Equity Program
The 2012 ballot measure Initiative 502, which legalized recreational use of cannabis by adults, did not include provisions or create programs to acknowledge the disproportionate harms the enforcement of cannabis laws had on certain populations and communities. The LCB recognizes that cannabis prohibition laws were disproportionately enforced for decades and that the cumulative harms from this enforcement remain today. In 2020, in response to a policy priority identified by the Board, the LCB developed agency-request legislation created the state Social Equity program, the Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force and the opportunity to provide a limited number of cannabis retail licenses to individuals disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition laws.



Printer-friendly version