Become an Equity Applicant or Incubator

The City’s groundbreaking Equity Permit Program is designed to minimize barriers to cannabis licensing for those who have been the most victimized by the war on drugs. Find out how to qualify.


The City Administrator’s Office, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 1st Floor, Oakland, CA  94612

Equity Provisions & Applicant Criteria

During the initial permitting phase, a minimum of half of all permits must be issued to Equity applicants.

An eligible Equity applicant is an Oakland resident who either has a cannabis conviction in Oakland after November 5, 1996, or has lived for 10 of the last 20 years in the police beats with disproportionately higher number of cannabis-related arrests:  2X, 2Y, 6X, 7X, 19X, 21X, 21Y, 23X, 26Y, 27X, 27Y, 29X, 30X, 30Y, 31Y, 32X, 33X, 34X, 5X, 8X and 35X.  Use the Police Beat Locator to find the beat you reside in.

Equity applicants must show an annual income at or less than 80 percent of the 2016 Oakland Average Medium Income (AMI) thresholds:

  • $56,300 for a one-person household
  • $64,350 for a two-person household
  • $72,400 for a three-person household
  • $80,400 for a four-person household
  • $86,850 for a five-person household
  • $93,300 for a six-person household
  • $99,700 for a seven-person household
  • $106,150 for an eight-person household

See Cannabis Permit Application (pages 3-4) for the full list of documents accepted for proof of income and residency. 

Incubator Criteria & Benefits

The City’s cannabis regulations reward General applicants that provide free space and “incubate” Equity applicants.  As an incubator, a General applicant receives permitting priority over other General applicants.

Incubator qualifications:  The General applicant must provide an Equity applicant with three years free rent for a minimum of 1,000 square feet for the Equity applicant’s business operations and any required security measures.  This space may be located EITHER at the General applicant’s place of business or in another location in zones approved for cannabis activity

Partner match: Looking for a partner to complete your Equity or General permit application process? CannaEquity's free online tool makes it simple to find potential partners with complementary qualifications. Start your search.

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