In San Francisco, 11 people from all facets of the marijuana industry — from cancer survivors to dispensary owners — were appointed on Thursday to serve on a newly-created Cannabis State Legalization Task Force.

The task force comes with the expectation that California voters will legalize recreational marijuana next year, and the city wants to be prepared.

According to The San Francisco Examiner, the task force will advise the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on the regulation of cannabis within the city. Task force Supervisor Scott Weiner said that “smart, local regulation,” established ahead of time, could prevent a “fire drill” situation once the new rules are in effect.

The task force’s agenda will include adjusting land use regulations to allow more cannabis shops to open and better serve the community’s demand. Current regulations prohibit dispensaries from being above the ground floor, closing off many usable retail spaces to marijuana businesses.

Other concerns the task force plans to address are the image of the industry within San Francisco, and public education about marijuana. “I believe everyone should have access to this industry,” said Tom McElroy, an architect and resident. “Education is a big part of this task force and changing people’s minds about cannabis.”

Photo Credit: worldaroundtrip

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