A feasibility report requested by the council in March was published by the city Friday and showed that the city could support additional dispensaries, but doing so might require some changes to city zoning, its municipal code and the cannabis tax structure, the report said.
Equity owners are those who have lower net worths, live in underserved parts of Long Beach or have prior criminal records tied to cannabis. There are currently no dispensaries operated by equity owners in the city.
“If not now, when?” Councilman Al Austin, who requested the report, said in March. “Equity delayed is equity denied.”
The report said that the city could support eight new dispensary licenses that would be set aside for equity applicants despite respondents to a city survey showing support for about 34 additional licenses.
To alleviate some of the concerns of equity applicants who have said that finding a suitable location in the city’s “Green Zone’, the areas where dispensaries are allowed to operate, is time consuming and expensive, the city manager’s office is recommending changes to the buffers that dictate how far away from schools, parks and other locations a dispensary must be.
Long Beach buffers were largely set by