San Francisco Forms Legal Cannabis Task Force

San Francisco’s Examiner reports Dec. 14 that city authorities, in anticipation that California voters will legalize recreational cannabis use next year, are assembling a body to propose regulations for the industry. The newly created entity will be called the Cannabis State Legalization Task Force. The body will advise the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Last week, the board’s Rules Committee selected 11 people to serve on the body, with three more seats still to be filled. One of the appointees is Erich Pearson, founder of SPARC, one of San Francisco’s biggest dispensaries. “We need to determine how many cannabis users we are going to have in San Francisco and how many stores that’s going to take to distribute that cannabis once it’s legal,” he told the Examiner.

Current regulations restrict cannabusinesses to a “Green Zone,” with 28 dispensaries now operating in just 5 percent of the city’s territory. The San Francisco Cannabis Clubs website is promoting a petition to enlarge the Green Zone.

Kevin Reed, founder of Green Cross dispensary, told the Supes that the city should open up areas for that are currently off­-limits, like the Bayview. He also called for dropping the restriction that limits dispensaries to the ground floor of buildings. “You have an entire Financial District of tall buildings that you can open up,” he said.

Laura Thomas of the Drug Policy Alliance said legalization would contribute to a strong job market, while architect Tom McElroy called for community meetings to coordinate any new regulations with local residents.

Other appointees are named as Jesse Stout of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, Apothecarium dispensary employee Sara Payan, Jon Ballesteros of the San Francisco Travel Association, community activist Barbara Fugate, Terrance Alan of SF Late Night Coalition,  Daisy Ozim of the Transitional Age Youth Collaborative Community (TAYSF), and cannabis advocate Michelle Aldrich and Sarah Shrader.

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