Bernard Spragg, NZ

San Francisco Officials Move to Ban New Dispensaries Until Rec. Rules Developed

The San Francisco, California Planning Commission has passed a recommendation to ban the opening of new medical cannabis dispensaries for up to two years until the city enacts its regulations on the forthcoming recreational cannabis industry, according to a report from 48 Hills.

The resolution is not binding and would need to be approved by the Board of Supervisors in order to take effect; however the Planning Commission has to approve all new dispensary applications, so even without a vote from the Board of Supervisors, permits could be hard to come by.

There are currently 29 dispensary applications pending in the city.

Supervisor Ahsha Safai proposed a permanent cap on dispensaries in his district which prompted the discussion of a city-wide moratorium. Safai’s district currently has three dispensaries – the maximum number he wants operating in the district – and if the resolution is approved that would mean that no more dispensaries would be permitted in his district unless one of the current operators shuts down.

The Planning Department suggested that rather than create a patchwork of rules district-by-district, the city should stop issuing new permits right now.

The Small Business Commission opposed the plan, saying that it would create an oligopoly in the district and drive businesses into other parts of the city.

The Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee will consider Safai’s proposal today, and the full board will hear the measure tomorrow.

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