City and County of San Francisco’s Equity Permit Program

Cannabis Equity Report by the Office of Cannabis, Human Rights Commission & Controller’s Office

In November 1, 2017, the Office of Cannabis, Human Rights Commission & Controller’s Office created a report analysing disparities in cannabis arrests and along with recommendations. The Cannabis Equity Report can be found here:

https://mass-cannabis-control.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/CNBADMPSC11-21-2017-San-Francisco-Equity-report.pdf Alternatively, you can go to https://tinyurl.com/SFCannabisEquityReport


Summary of Findings

A few months later, the findings revealed astonishing disparities, proving the need for an equity permit program.

*Note: The chart above assumes all survey respondents that did not identify as Hispanic/ Latino are non-Hispanic, however this may not be the case.

*Note: The chart above assumes all survey respondents that did not identify as Hispanic/ Latino are non-Hispanic, however this may not be the case.

Figure 1. Survey of Race and Ethnicity in the San Francisco Cannabis Industry, CGA SF, 2016

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Figure 2. % of Black Cannabis Arrests Compared to Black Population in SF (1990-2016)

Social Equity Definition

The definition that San Francisco adopted is “The Equity Program shall provide assistance to communities unfairly burdened by the War on Drugs, and shall be designed to ensure full and equal access to resources and opportunities made available as a result of Proposition 64. In particular, the Cannabis Equity Program shall provide support to individuals who have experienced social indicators that exacerbate inequities, and shall create strategies to uplift communities where those inequities have been concentrated.”

Criteria for Equity Applicants

To qualify as an Equity Applicant you must:

  • apply as a person, not a company

  • have net assets below established limits for each household. This means you will not qualify as an Equity Applicant if your 1 person household has net assets over $193,500. See Equity verification requirements for asset limits of larger households.

  • be one of the following:

    • the business owner

    • own at least 40% of the business and be the CEO

    • own at least 51% of the business

    • a board member of a non-profit cannabis business where most of the board also qualify as Equity Applicants

    • an individual with a membership interest in a cannabis business formed as a cooperative


You must also meet at least 3 of the 6 equity conditions:

  1. Have a household income below 80% of the average median income (AMI) in San Francisco for 2017. This amount is calculated based on how many people are in your household.

    1. 1 person household: $64,550 or less

    2. 2 person household: $73,800 or less

  2. Have been arrested for or convicted of the sale, possession, use, manufacture, or cultivation of cannabis (including as a juvenile) from 1971 to 2016

  3. Have a parent, sibling or child who was arrested for or convicted of the sale, possession, use, manufacture, or cultivation of cannabis (including as a juvenile) from 1971 to 2016

  4. Lost housing in San Francisco after 1995 through eviction, foreclosure or subsidy cancellation

  5. Attended school in the San Francisco Unified School District for a total of 5 years from 1971 to 2016

  6. Have lived in San Francisco census tracts for a total of 5 years from 1971 to 2016 where at least 17% of the households had incomes at or below the federal poverty level

    1. See if you qualify by typing in your address in this map here: https://tinyurl.com/SFequityapplicantmap

Equity Applicants can get verified here:

https://tinyurl.com/SFEquityGetVerified

Before submitting the form, you will need to upload proof of:

You can upload scans or pictures you’ve taken of documents. If you are uploading pictures, make sure the photos are clear so we can read the document.

You may also submit your documents in person:

San Francisco Office of Cannabis

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl # 18,

San Francisco, CA 94102

PSA: PLEASE COMPLETE THE ENTIRE GET VERIFIED PROCESS, EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE ALL OF YOUR INFORMATION READY, OTHERWISE THE OFFICE OF CANNABIS IS UNABLE TO REACH YOU TO ASSIST WITH ANY DIFFICULTIES YOU MAY BE HAVING.

Benefits for Equity Applicants

  • Equity Applicants do not have to pay the $5,000 permit fee.

  • They can also benefit from an incubator partnership that provides rent free space for 3 years OR technical assistance to run their business.

FIND INCUBATORS TO PAIR UP WITH HERE: https://officeofcannabis.sfgov.org/equity/incubator

Criteria for Equity Incubators

See full criteria here: https://officeofcannabis.sfgov.org/node/2697

  • An Equity Incubator must provide technical assistance to an equity applicant [Equity Incubator Plan] OR commercial space that is no less than 800 square feet for offsite, or no less than 10% of the square footage of the Equity Incubator’s Premises if onsite.

  • Attestation of Workforce Provisions: Equity Incubators must attest, under penalty of perjury, that:

    • At least 30% of all Equity Incubator business work hours will be performed by local residents.

    • At least 50% of Equity Incubator employees will meet the equity applicant criteria stipulated in Police Code Section 1604(b)(4).

  • Community Investment Plan: A community investment plan demonstrating engagement with businesses and residents located within 500 feet of the proposed cannabis business site.

  • Good Faith Negotiations: Equity Incubators that seek a cannabis permit from the City and County of San Francisco are required to negotiate in good faith with verified Equity Incubatee to implement the terms of the Equity Incubator Agreement described in Police Code Section 1604(c). The Agreement must materially represent the full legal and business relationship between the Equity Incubator and the Equity Incubatee.


Benefits for Incubators

Priority licensing, the Office of Cannabis proposes evaluating and processing Equity Incubator applications in the following priority order:

  1. Equity Incubators providing rent-free space, offsite.

  2. Equity Incubators providing rent-free space, onsite.

  3. Equity Incubators providing technical assistance.

RESOURCES

Regulating Entity:

Permitting is being processed through the San Francisco Office of Cannabis

https://officeofcannabis.sfgov.org/

ARTICLE 16: REGULATION OF CANNABIS

The regulation can be found here:

https://tinyurl.com/SFArticle16

An Interactive Map of Permitted Zones for Cannabis Facilities Retail

http://sfplanninggis.org/cannabisretail/

An Interactive Map of San Francisco census tracts from 1971 to 2016 where at least 17% of the households had incomes at or below the federal poverty level

https://tinyurl.com/SFequityapplicantmap

FIND INCUBATORS TO PAIR UP WITH HERE: https://officeofcannabis.sfgov.org/equity/incubator

Get verified as an equity applicant here:

https://tinyurl.com/SFEquityGetVerified

Cannabis Permit Checklist:

https://tinyurl.com/SFcannabispermitchecklist