Equity fee waivers

Equity fee waivers

If you were negatively affected by the criminalization of cannabis, you can apply to have your license fee waived.

Read the eligibility criteria below, or download a guidance document.

Business eligibility

There are two basic requirements for getting your license fee waived. If your business meets them both, you’re eligible for a waiver.

1. Gross revenue

Your cannabis business must have gross revenue of no more than $5 million per year.  

If you’re starting a new business, you must expect no more than $5 million in gross revenue in your first year.

2. Equity ownership:

At least 50% of your business must be owned by people who meet one of the following equity criteria:

  • Cannabis conviction or arrest
  • Income level
  • Neighborhood affected by criminalization of cannabis
Example 1

2 people each own 50% of the business.

  • Owner 1 meets the impact criteria
  • Owner 2 does not meet the impact criteria

The business qualifies for a waiver. 50% of the business is owned by people who meet the impact criteria.

Example 2

6 people own the business.

  • Owners 1, 2, and 3 each own 20% and meet the impact criteria
  • Owner 4 owns 20% and does not meet the impact criteria
  • Owners 5 and 6 each own 10% and do not meet the impact criteria

The business qualifies for a waiver. 60% of the business is owned by people who meet the impact criteria.

Example 3

5 people each own 20% of the business.

  • Owners 1 and 2 meet the equity criteria
  • Owners 3, 4, and 5 do not meet the impact criteria

The business does not qualify for a waiver. Only 40% of the business is owned by people who meet the impact criteria.

Equity owner criteria

Business owners can show they were impacted by cannabis criminalization in a number of ways. You only need to meet one of the criteria to qualify.

Cannabis conviction or arrest

You were convicted or arrested for one of these cannabis crimes before November 8, 2016:

  • Sale
  • Possession
  • Use
  • Manufacture
  • Cultivation

You may also be eligible if an immediate family member was convicted or arrested for a cannabis-related crime and you lived in a California county with drug arrest rates that were higher than the state average drug arrest rates.

Neighborhood

You lived in a place for at least 5 years between 1980 and 2016 that was a California county with drug arrest rates that were higher than the state average drug arrest rates and:

  • The top 25% nationally for unemployment and poverty; or
  • You have an immediate family member who was convicted or arrested for a cannabis-related crime prior to November 8, 2016.

You can use our map tool to see if you live in a qualifying area. Please reach out to our equity team with questions equity@cannabis.ca.gov.

Income

Your household income is no more than 60% of the area’s median income, or you’re eligible to get financial aid through a program like:

  • CalFresh
  • MediCal
  • CalWORKS
  • Supplemental security income
  • Social Security disability

Area median income

Use the charts below to look up the income limit for your household. Find the county you currently live in. Then look at the column that lists the number of people living in your household. Your income must be equal to or less than the number listed to qualify.

A-F
1234567+
Alameda$30,233$68,528$82,841$98,852$81,696$78,945$100,082
Alpine$27,062$54,750$19,500$73,125N/A$34,875N/A
Amador$16,306$42,605$50,880$52,088$59,719$48,880$118,875
Butte$15,843$39,722$40,537$57,843$64,393$50,534$73,941
Calaveras$19,837$42,820$54,061$52,282$48,688$40,484N/A
Colusa$14,059$40,425$39,201$42,938$37,903$51,081$74,190
Contra Costa$34,071$68,858$78,706$89,540$72,746$81,166$95,250
Del Norte$15,959$34,775$33,664$35,291$33,513$47,279$36,454
El Dorado$21,578$58,460$67,637$75,355$72,268$96,520$65,840
Fresno$17,486$39,961$38,357$46,278$40,513$40,655$48,224
G-L
1234567+
Glenn$11,953$33,119$27,652$38,705$42,500$41,775$43,710
Humboldt$15,427$33,134$43,053$63,155$73,734$81,526$56,371
Imperial$10,157$29,217$42,061$35,308$35,022$51,896$47,237
Inyo$21,878$41,653$46,239$45,831$38,956$45,867N/A
Kern$15,539$34,958$37,207$39,301$45,184$32,017$39,703
Kings$19,037$37,293$35,548$37,460$30,276$41,135$41,897
Lake$18,700$34,342$43,669$36,738$45,060$28,216$21,449
Lassen$19,981$39,056$37,436$38,481$46,286$44,426$47,406
Los Angeles$23,917$47,473$52,395$56,054$52,975$52,214$64,115
M
1234567+
Madera$15,075$39,479$36,379$42,298$45,316$46,352$63,652
Marin$30,302$81,734$107,447$99,402$116,603$31,244$75,243
Mariposa$13,565$35,077$35,580$48,853$36,536$51,844N/A
Mendocino$15,913$43,747$48,253$39,196$54,787$29,227$36,911
Merced$18,908$32,633$41,579$43,351$36,923$46,174$61,798
Modoc$15,188$33,930$34,208$29,792$37,583$35,475N/A
Mono$27,592$44,375$58,927$40,339$49,610N/AN/A
Monterey$28,481$57,396$46,213$51,948$48,572$49,175$63,235
N-R
1234567+
Napa$30,524$66,195$63,491$78,544$62,801$64,805$96,059
Nevada$19,045$48,183$53,825$90,259$69,949$55,130$36,181
Orange$30,376$60,248$66,071$73,718$71,942$68,454$76,031
Placer$26,999$62,062$69,959$79,495$85,097$76,227$66,602
Plumas$18,155$38,918$47,354$59,820$66,698N/AN/A
Riverside$19,509$44,080$48,241$56,981$54,895$52,868$66,874
S
1234567+
Sacramento$24,761$47,557$50,290$60,611$58,036$50,525$55,438
San Benito$24,647$50,179$57,987$66,907$64,286$48,964$68,023
San Bernardino$21,537$40,333$43,931$49,432$54,575$48,921$60,133
San Diego$27,143$52,246$60,778$70,024$57,492$61,384$73,529
San Francisco$40,184$96,728$97,015$105,754$99,458$83,611$116,309
San Joaquin$20,916$42,681$53,236$50,693$49,016$60,299$46,711
San Luis Obispo$23,108$51,672$57,785$65,527$57,767$73,029$68,495
San Mateo$37,519$83,089$104,986$122,875$106,336$77,197$104,009
Santa Barbara$25,287$55,825$59,104$52,124$55,945$50,230$57,578
Santa Clara$37,036$79,703$96,472$116,426$92,663$88,100$98,625
Santa Cruz$25,142$60,450$82,424$65,063$48,820$83,179$82,591
Shasta$16,981$41,998$45,014$61,258$50,960$54,502$51,197
Sierra$11,000$45,656$54,874$50,278$44,893N/AN/A
Siskiyou$15,092$33,069$35,394$37,043$34,472$33,260$32,171
Solano$27,526$51,836$67,826$66,370$68,312$72,563$83,527
Sonoma$28,723$51,177$73,742$72,183$58,691$66,291$88,529
Stanislaus$21,801$36,454$44,113$50,467$48,214$45,635$64,302
Sutter$20,872$43,117$38,869$50,523$42,682$56,394$65,713
T-Z
1234567+
Tehama$13,507$38,970$39,422$41,843$46,777$29,729$49,409
Trinity$14,113$28,009$31,258$39,230$37,579$29,750$114,360
Tulare$16,158$39,148$36,530$38,994$33,551$42,553$53,254
Tuolumne$17,483$40,035$48,086$57,370$64,650$61,844$82,227
Ventura$30,461$57,606$67,199$73,037$64,042$61,064$68,713
Yolo$23,363$47,549$57,477$49,762$63,129$35,000$56,802
Yuba$24,068$30,575$41,020$49,624$37,563$76,570$100,462

Apply for a fee waiver

Learn how to request a fee waiver and show you meet the equity criteria.