Department of Cannabis Control Releases Cannabis Equity Fee Waiver Emergency Regulations for Public Comment

December 03, 2021

SACRAMENTO - Today, the Department of Cannabis Control released regulations to implement SB 166, a budget trailer bill that establishes criteria for a $30 million statewide equity cannabis fee waiver program. The program is designed to assist those who were previously convicted or arrested of cannabis related offense, or are living at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income, or live in a community disproportionately negatively impacted by past cannabis policies. In 2019, Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) authored SB 595, which passed the Legislature and created the cannabis equity fee waiver program. The cannabis equity fee waiver program was contingent on funding and Senator Bradford successfully obtained $30 million for its implementation in the Budget Act of 2021.

The emergency regulations to implement the cannabis equity fee waiver program will go through a truncated notice and comments process. The public will have five days for notice, then five days to provide comments upon publication by the Office of Administrative Law on its website ( Once the comment period begins, people wanting to comment on the regulations will need to submit them simultaneously to OAL at and the Department of Cannabis Control at The regulations can be found here.

Senator Bradford issued the following statement in response to the release of the proposed regulations:

“There is no doubt that the War on Drugs has disproportionately harmed people of color and their communities. SB 166 is part of my continued mission for the Government to atone for the wrongs inflicted on people by supporting them with opportunities to enter and thrive in the cannabis market. I encourage anyone interested in the cannabis industry, especially equity cannabis applicants and operators, to provide comments during the short window for feedback. These regulations are extremely important for determining who will and will not get application, licensing, and renewal fee waivers, and the amount of help they will receive. It is vital that the Administration have an accurate understanding of people’s experiences in order to create a framework that respects them. The only way that will happen is if those involved in the cannabis community to inform the Administration of what will work best.”


Senator Bradford is Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety and represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.