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The city of San Francisco's downtown district photographed from a distance at dusk.

Dave Spencer

San Francisco, California officials have suggested that the city’s adult-use cannabis market might not come online with the rest of the state as local regulators will not issue recreational industry licenses until an equity program is created and new laws are passed to regulate the industry, the San Francisco Gate reports.

Equity programs are designed to help low-income entrepreneurs, individuals with drug offenses, and minorities. Equity programs have been included in Oakland and Los Angeles’ local rules, while a Boston, Massachusetts city councilor has pushed for equity rules to be included as part of the city’s program. In Maryland, equity rules are at the center of two lawsuits by rejected medical cannabis companies; Del. Cheryl D. Glenn has suggested scrapping the approved licenses and starting the process over because of the lack of diversity in the state’s industry.

San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy introduced the proposal, which has the support of Mayor Ed Lee, to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

“Out of a 70-page ordinance, less than a page talks about how to make (the industry) equitable,” Sheehy said in the report, adding that the current proposals are “far from perfect, and further from final.”

The city will allow current operators to apply for temporary 120-day licenses on Jan. 1 while officials design the new rules. Earlier this month the city Planning Commission passed a recommendation to ban the opening of new dispensaries for up to two years while the new regime is being crafted.

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