City Announces First Cannabis Dispensary Permit Recipients Under Equity Program

Monday, Mar 05, 2018 | News Update


The City of Oakland held a public drawing today to select qualified individuals and businesses to be eligible for four (4) new cannabis dispensary permits made available specifically to equity applicants. Those selected were Alphonso T. Blunt Jr., Marshall Crosby, Rickey McCullough, and Zhongzhang Yan.

In addition to the four dispensary permits reserved for equity applicants, the City also announced businesses that have qualified for four (4) dispensary permits that were available to both equity and non-equity applicants: Kanna, Inc., Have a Heart, Ron Leggett, and Three Turkeys Management, LLC. The general permit applications were selected by a panel of City staff based on applicants’ scores on the dispensary permit application. The applications were evaluated for business, security, odor mitigation, and neighborhood beautification plans; compliance with state and local laws; and offered points for local ownership, incubation of equity businesses, and commitments to hire and purchase products locally.

Of the four new dispensary permits that were selected via competitive scoring process:

Three of the four permits are Oakland-owned businesses

  • Two of the four are equity-owned businesses
  • 90% of all employees will be Oakland residents
  • 50% of all employees will be formerly incarcerated, current Oakland residents
  • 50% of product will be sourced from equity businesses
  • 29 equity businesses will be provided free rent and security for three years by these dispensary permit recipients

Combined with the four permits selected via public drawing on January 31, 2018, this means that six of the next eight new dispensary permits will be equity-owned businesses and seven of the next eight will be Oakland-owned businesses.

The next phase in the dispensary permitting process for the eight new dispensary permit recipients will be for the businesses to identify sites and undergo a public hearing prior to opening. 

The newly announced dispensary permits will bring Oakland’s total number
of permitted dispensaries to 16. In addition to dispensary permits, Oakland
has an ongoing permit application process for cannabis businesses other than
dispensaries, including growers, manufacturers, distributors, testing
laboratories, and transporters. To date, the City has received more than 600
applications for non-dispensary permits; more than half of which are equity
applicants. Currently more than 90 equity and 90 general applicants have
received temporary licenses from the State of California to conduct
commercial cannabis activity.