Los Angeles Open for Cannabis Storefront Retail Licensing in Areas of “Undue Concentration”

Posted by Jenna Rompel on February 18, 2020


Los Angeles, California: 

Phase 3 Cannabis retail licensing for the City of Los Angeles is on hold until the completion of an audit for licenses issued during Round 1 in September 2019. Verified Tier 1 and Tier 2 Social Equity Applicants still have the opportunity to obtain a storefront cannabis retail license through the Public Convenience or Necessity (PCN) process. The PCN process is open and separate to Phase 3 licensing intended for applicants located in areas that have hit their “undue concentration” limit. Having an experienced legal team knowledgeable in cannabis law is essential as the process can take up to several months to complete. Contact Margolin & Lawrence and inquire about our lobbying services and licensure through the PCN process.

Los Angeles law restricts the number of cannabis retail licenses the city may issue in each community plan area based on that area’s population. Once “undue concentration” is met the city may no longer issue retail licenses through Phase 3. In an effort to issue more licenses to qualified applicants the city established the Public Convenience or Necessity (PCN) process for applicants located in areas that have met undue concentration limits. For detailed information on the PCN process see Margolin & Lawrence blog post here. Community Plan Areas that have currently hit undue concentration limits are: Boyle Heights, Central City, Central City North, Harbor-Gateway, Hollywood, North Hollywood-Valley Village, Sherman Oaks-Studio City-Toluca Lake-Cahuenga Pass, Sun Valley-La Tuna Canyon, Venice, and West LA.


Licensure through PCN is an ongoing process where applicants must show their prospective business will be of considerable benefit to the surrounding community. Obtaining findings of PCN requires extensive lobbying with city council, district representatives and neighborhood councils. Our attorneys are here to lobby on your behalf but we’re not stopping there. Founded by Margolin & Lawrence, the Social Equity Coalition, is going further to effectively lobby the City to issue as many licenses as possible to qualified Tier 1 and Tier 2 applicants. Contact our firm for more information on our lobbying services, the Social Equity Coalition, and how you can get involved.

To apply for a finding of Public Convenience or Necessity go to the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) Accela application portal here.

Author: Jenna Rompel, Paralegal/Policy Manager

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This blog is not intended as legal advice and should not be taken as such. The possession, use, and/or sale of marijuana is illegal under federal law.