On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors decided to create an Office of Cannabis within the city’s government after a unanimous vote. This decision has come about after voters in the state of California voted in recreational cannabis last November, and before the recreational cannabis market goes live in January. The purpose of the Office of Cannabis will be to oversee the process of approving the necessary permits for the legal sale of adult-use cannabis and cannabis-infused products.
The city of San Francisco has a total of 46 medical dispensaries within its borders, and it’s expected that many of them will be jumping onboard the recreational market as well. It is also anticipated that many newcomers will try to get in on the ground floor of California’s recreational cannabis industry. To handle the responsibility of issuing the appropriate permits, Mayor Ed Lee has proposed a budget of $700,000 to fund the Office of Cannabis. This office will employ three individuals who will act as public outreach.
“So the idea is — how are we going to manage that growth? What’s the right number? What’s the right amount for San Francisco,” asked city Supervisor Ahsha Safai as they and other supervisors contemplate the demand of Californians for adult-use cannabis.
Safai is supervisor of the Excelsior neighborhood of San Francisco, and has proposed a three-dispensary cap in his district. He has stated that an “explosion of recreation is not gonna happen,” and firmly believes that existing dispensaries in the district should be granted priority when the Office of Cannabis doles out licenses for recreational sales of the plant.
Overall, the main purpose of the Office of Cannabis is to have a single point of contact within the city that will help cannabis business owners, regulators and any complaints being issued by members of the public.