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The Social Equity Program was intended to improve the life outcomes of the people most disproportionately impacted by the failed War on Drugs, but instead it has bankrupted many applicants due to many months of delays and bad policies. As City Council President Herb Wesson has stated, It is paramount that the application process must be transparent and fair, while maintaining the utmost integrity. Now that the Phase 3 Retail Round 1 Application process has begun, it has been completely compromised by the failure of the first come, first served application process. At the last Cannabis Regulation Commission meeting, the Department of Cannabis Regulation acknowledged that at least 2 applicants had access to the application portal prior to the announced 10am start time! The Accela website’s security features were also disabled for the first several minutes, allowing automated bots to submit successful applications. The process was completely botched from a technical standpoint and has lost legitimacy for determining who the first 100 applicants were.

The process was also compromised by the DCR’s attorney, Alex Freedman, who gave predatory investors the advantage of advising them on Social Equity Program loopholes and changing . The purpose of phase 3 was to provide licensing opportunities to social equity applicants who have been holding onto properties for years. It was not meant for corporate entities to come in and swoop up real estate and use souped up computers to take all the licences. Alex Freedman was the architect of the first come first serve process, and he just quit the DCR to start a cannabis consulting firm which is now active in social equity markets across the country. 

Hundreds of Social Equity Applicants are currently holding onto expensive leases for retail locations in anticipation of getting licensed for commercial cannabis activity. We are all spending $7,000- $35,000 a month while we wait to find out if we will be selected. Many of us have been holding on to these leases for a year and in some cases 2 years! Sign this petition to demand ALL applications are processed equally and fairly.

On Monday October 28th, the Los Angeles City Council President, Herb Wesson made a declaration that the DCR Executive Director, Cat Packer, must suspend processing the "First 100" Retail Round 1 applications or, process all the applications submitted during the application period to restore integrity, transparency, and fairness to the Social Equity Program. See his letter here and sign this petition to process all applications, NOW!