Will San Francisco overhaul its zoning laws for medical marijuana dispensaries?

In Dispensaries, Feature Stories, Regulatory by David SilverbergLeave a Comment

Most of San Francisco is off-limits for medical marijuana dispensaries, but that may soon change, according to media reports.

Supervisor John Avalos introduced legislation recently that would require the Planning Commission to review its 2005 medical marijuana law and provide recommendations for changes to the Board of Supervisors by Jan. 1. Currently, dispensaries are mainly located in the SOMA and the Mission areas of the California city. No medical marijuana dispensaries can operate within 1,000 feet of a school. Around 90 percent of San Fran is a no-go zone for these dispensaries.

Avalos believes the flawed 2005 law has led to unfair zoning.

“They should be situated throughout The City, not just in certain neighborhoods,” he said.

The review is expected to include analysis of “impacts on the public health, safety and welfare of expanding the areas” where dispensaries can open and the impact of existing rules on patient access.

In California, medical marijuana access is officially legal but, as in other U.S. states, federal law is creating confusion, where dispensaries are often raided by the DEA.

Last Friday, Bakersfield medical marijuana supporters said they are organizing a referendum to overturn a June ordinance banning dispensaries in the city.

Flickr photo via KayVee

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