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ABCA’s office will be closed on Tuesday, April 16 for DC Emancipation Day. We will reopen at 8:30 am on Wednesday, April 17.

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Medical Cannabis - Social Equity Applicants


The Medical Cannabis Amendment Act of 2022 ensures that persons disproportionately harmed by cannabis criminalization are included in DC’s medical cannabis industry. Accordingly, 50 percent of all new medical cannabis business licenses, except for Testing Laboratory licenses, are reserved for social equity applicants.


To qualify as a social equity applicant, parties must meet two (2) of the three (3) below criteria.

Parties must have at least one (1) owner who is a DC resident, individually or collectively owns at least 50% of the business, and is/has: 

  • A returning citizen. 
  • Married to or in a civil union, has a child, or is the child of a person or has a non-parent legal guardian, or a grandparent or a sibling who is or has been arrested, convicted, or incarcerated in DC or in any other jurisdiction for a cannabis or drug-related offense. 
  • An income that does not exceed 150 percent of the median family income as set forth by US HUD, adjusted for household size, at the time of application submission. See Social Equity Applicant Resource Guide Page 2

  Additional information can be found in the Social Equity Applicant Resource Guide

To Apply

Parties can only apply to qualify as a social equity applicant during open application periods. 

Parties must submit with their application a: 

Additional step-by-step application guidance is also available.

Valid Period and Fees

Licensing fees are reduced by 75 percent for approved social equity applicants for the first three (3) years of their license valid period. 

Of Note

ABCA reviews provided documentation in determining social equity status. It is up to the applicant to provide sufficient proof of social equity criteria.