Aaron Lau

San Francisco Plans New Cannabis Oversight Committee

San Francisco city officials plan to create a committee that would oversee and assess cannabis industry regulations throughout the city, reports the San Francisco Examiner.

The San Francisco Cannabis Oversight Committee was proposed by city Supervisor Sandra Fewer to oversee the Office of Cannabis, investigate the successfulness of current regulations, and gauge whether or not the city’s cannabis equity laws — which are supposed to afford people who were most affected by prohibition more opportunities in the cannabis space — are effective.

“We really want to hear on the ground, is it working?” Fewer said. “Does it need amendments? How should we amend this? How should we meet the needs of our equity applicants?”

Currently, the only licensed cannabis businesses in San Francisco existed previously as medical cannabis entities; these companies have continued to operate under temporary permits. The city has yet to issue new licenses under the adult-use framework.

City Administrator Naomi Kelly — who oversees the Office of Cannabis — at first opposed the creation of a Cannabis Oversight Committee, arguing that the proposal would increase the responsibilities of her team without adding any funds to pay for the extra work. When those concerns were subsequently addressed, however, Kelly shifted her support.

If established, the committee would oversee the Office of Cannabis, make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and Mayor London Breed regarding cannabis regulations, and provide basic tracking details to the city for cannabis licensees.

The committee would also evaluate the equity program’s ability to “[foster] equitable access to participation in the cannabis industry and [provide] assistance to communities unfairly burdened by the War on Drugs” and recommend changes for maximizing the effectiveness of the city’s cannabis equity laws.

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