Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

7 San Francisco cannabis dispensaries authorized for adult-use sales

by Cynthia Laird

Seven San Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries have been given the green light by the city to seek temporary state licensure to sell recreational marijuana Saturday, January 6.

The move comes as the federal government announced plans to crack down on legal sales of marijuana, though the outcome of that in states like California is not yet known.

(The Apothecarium is one of several medical cannabis dispensaries working to obtain a state license to sell recreational pot.)

(The Apothecarium is one of several medical cannabis dispensaries working to obtain a state license to sell recreational pot.)

The city’s Office of Cannabis on Friday said in a statement that it had made the recommendations to the state after consultation with the Department of Public Health. Both departments reviewed operators’ security plans, good neighbor policies, and equity plans, according to the statement.

Those authorized to seek a temporary state license include the Apothecarium, 2029 Market Street; Grass Roots, 1077 Post Street; Harvest on Geary, 4811 Geary Boulevard; MediThrive, 1933 Mission Street; Shambhala, 2441 Mission Street; ReLeaf Herbal Cooperative, 1284 Mission Street; and the Green Cross, 4218 Mission Street.

Eliot Dobris, spokesman for the Apothecarium, said the dispensary hoped to get its state license Friday.

“We have the city permit and are hopeful of getting the state permit today,” he said in a phone message.

[Updated: The Apothecarium received its state license late Friday afternoon, Dobris wrote in an email, and plans to be open Saturday for recreational pot sales. The Green Cross issued a news release Friday that said it has also received its state license and would be open Saturday for recreational sales.]

In order for the medical cannabis dispensaries to begin selling recreational marijuana, they must first receive a temporary adult-use retailer license from the state.

“The city has been working diligently and swiftly to move the cannabis industry to a regulated space so that our small businesses can be in compliance with late and local law – laws that are meant to better protect our communities and consumers,” Nicole Elliott, director of the Office of Cannabis, said in a statement.

Health Director Barbara Garcia said that the department anticipates working with retailers.

“As San Francisco implements legal adult-use cannabis, we look forward to the benefits to consumers, who will be able to know that they are buying products that are regulated and tested for quality and safety,” Garcia said in the statement.

San Francisco’s adult use regulations were one of the last things done by the late Mayor Ed Lee, whose office worked with gay District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy in developing them.

Sheehy said he was glad adult use was starting in San Francisco.

“Ed Lee and I worked on [the regulations] and after a lot of hard work the board passed solid regulations,” Sheehy said Friday. “As time goes by I hope it can be a model for other jurisdictions.”

State voters in 2016 approved adult use of recreational marijuana. Cities, counties, and the state worked for a year developing regulations. Under Proposition 64, the adult-use initiative, local jurisdictions can determine their own rules for recreational cannabis.

According to the Office of Cannabis, to date the city has received 31 submissions from medical marijuana dispensaries seeking adult-use authorization. These are being reviewed in the order in which they were received by the office, DPH, and the San Francisco Police Department.

— Cynthia Laird, January 5, 2018 @ 1:36 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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