Lease Canceled for San Francisco Marijuana Clinic That Prompted San Francisco Calls for Moratorium on Dispensaries
The owner of a hotel in San Francisco that participates in the city-funded "Care Not Cash" program and houses recovering drug addicts canceled on Tuesday his lease with a medical marijuana clinic that had planned to open on the ground floor of the hotel Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Herel, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/23).
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday requested the moratorium after learning that the clinic, called the Holistic Center, was scheduled to open in a building that houses several people seeking treatment for substance abuse.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors next week is expected to vote on an ordinance that would impose a 45-day moratorium on new clubs while the city looks at how to regulate them (California Healthline, 3/22).
Newsom plans to convene a group of city officials to examine possible regulations for cannabis clubs. The group will include the heads of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Planning, as well as Treasurer Jose Cisneros and an official from the city attorney's office. Newsom has asked the task force to complete a report within 30 days.
Newsom on Tuesday said that the city's DHS and DPH had instituted changes that will prevent cannabis clubs from opening in locations where the city pays for services to support substance abusers and the homeless.
Trent Rhorer, director of San Francisco DHS, said current contracts would be amended to prohibit the presence of medical marijuana clinics, and the language also would be included in future contracts. Rhorer noted that no clinics are located in any of the dozen hotels participating in the city's Care Not Cash program for low-income residents.
Newsom said, "We have a responsibility to the people that we are helping climb out of homelessness. And that responsibility includes providing them with a clean, safe and healthy environment to help them get back on their feet."
Craig Walker, the owner of Holistic Center, said, "I'm discouraged and disappointed," but he added, "I'm not mad. I am for good regulation. I agree with the mayor -- there has to be more thought put into this" (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/23).
San Francisco leaders "are scrambling to cap the number" of cannabis clubs "while figuring out what to do with a medical-marijuana movement out of control," a Chronicle editorial states. According to the editorial, San Francisco "should sober up, cut down the numbers of pot outlets and make sure" that the city identification cards for medical marijuana users "are carefully issued" (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.