Newsom Proposes Rules To Regulate Cannabis Clubs
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday proposed regulations to address concerns about "the locations, proliferation and security" of cannabis dispensaries, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/22).
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors earlier in the month voted 9-0 to enact a 45-day moratorium on new cannabis clubs while the city drafted new laws to regulate them. Currently, there are an estimated 37 cannabis clubs in the city (California Healthline, 4/1).
Newsom's proposed regulations would:
- Prohibit alcohol consumption on club property;
- Maintain minimum security, ventilation and lighting standards;
- Enforce procedures implemented to confirm that no drug transactions occur in violation of Proposition 215, the 1996 state law that authorizes marijuana use with a physician's recommendation;
- Allow city inspectors to review the records of dispensaries to verify that they are operating as not-for-profit businesses and that only primary caregivers and authorized patients are purchasing marijuana;
- Ban clubs from operating within 500 feet of one another; and
- Require prospective operators to notify neighbors and receive approval from the Planning Department before opening a cannabis club.
To take effect, some of the proposed regulations would have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors, but Newsom could enact several others through executive mandate.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi called the plan a "good generic outline," adding, "It's a starting point, and it presents an early forecast that we're all leaning in the same direction." He plans to hold a City Hall hearing on Monday to initiate public discussion on the city's options.
Chris Montana, who operates the Love Shack medical cannabis club in the Mission district, said, "I think the regulations could do nothing but help us" (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/22).