The first of two rounds of the Phase 3 retail licensing cycle begins on September 3rd, 2019. The Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) has released new information pertaining to Undue Concentration just ahead of Round 1 of Phase 3.
6 of the City’s 36 Community Plan Areas have already met Undue Concentration, which means the number of licenses issued in each of these areas to date meets (or exceeds) capacity. On a recently-published webpage, the DCR confirms that it will issue not issue licenses in areas of Undue Concentration during the upcoming first round of Phase 3 licensing. However, the Department released a Round 1 Application Checklist, goes on to suggest that applicants seeking to obtain a license in areas of Undue Concentration will have a chance to apply in future rounds of licensing – perhaps as soon as Phase 3 Round 2. F
Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) requires applicants seeking licenses in areas of Undue Concentration to obtain findings of Public Convenience or Necessity (PCN) to be considered. Applicants must pay a fee of $1,499 and receive PCN approval from the City Council prior to submitting an application. Although these prerequisites for applying for licenses in areas of Undue Concentration have been included in LAMC for some time, there has been little talk of the PCN process. Until recently, the DCR has not implied that applications in areas of Undue Concentration will be accepted for processing in any future round of licensing, and PCN findings have remained irrelevant.
In its recent update, the Department clarifies that although Undue Concentration applications will not be accepted during Round 1 of Phase 3, there is a process established by LAMC by which applicants can apply for licensing in areas of Undue Concentration. The DCR elaborates on the process for obtaining PCN findings from City Council and mentions the $1,499 fee requirement. As has always been the case, this process will not be relevant so long as the DCR restricts licensing to areas outside of Undue Concentration, which it has done thus far. Although the Department does not explicitly state when or if future rounds of licensing will be open to applicants in areas of Undue Concentration, its intentional clarification of the process that would apply in such an event is incredibly reassuring.
For now, it is important for Phase 3 applicants seeking to apply in the first round of licensing to secure a business premises in an area that has not met Undue Concentration. An interactive map on the DCR’s website provides quick access to each Community Plan Area’s Undue Concentration status. If you are interested in applying for a license in Round 1 of Phase 3 and have not yet secured a location, it is critical to retain a cannabis attorney who can assist you with your property search. Our team is very familiar with the zoning and various Community Plan Areas of Los Angeles and has helped over 100 clients receive a local cannabis license. We have been actively monitoring retail spaces available for lease or purchase in Los Angeles over the past several weeks and can promptly assist you in securing an eligible property in time for Phase 3 Round 1. Contact a member of our staff today to inquire about the services we provide during the property search and all other components of the Los Angeles cannabis licensing process.