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San Francisco Recreational Marijuana – Not the only municipality to be dragging their feet, San Francisco will be another city delaying recreational permits when recreational cannabis becomes legal in California in January 2018. Though it’ll be a buzz-kill for some, it’s actually for good reason: San Francisco is delaying so they can pass a few laws to regulate the market and create an equity program.

The equity program is intended to help low-income entrepreneurs, people of color, and former drug offenders create cannabis-related businesses: a boon in a city that will likely see a lot of rich, and white, investors pushing to get into the market. The program will be based on a similar concept set up just next door in Oakland. As part of that endeavor, a 45-day moratorium was put in place on new dispensaries opening in the city, part of a scramble to get things running in time. The city’s Board of Supervisors requested that the Office of Cannabis and city controller in July to submit a report on equity in the cannabis industry in July, with a report expected in November. The Office of Cannabis only hired it’s director in August.

“Out of a 70-page ordinance, less than a page talks about how to make (the industry) equitable,” said Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who introduced an ordinance with proposed regulations alongside Mayor Ed Lee. The proposal included 300-foot buffers between cannabis businesses, a new development, and 600-foot buffers between cannabis businesses and schools.

Part of gearing up for legalization means the city enacting regulations that comply with the new state law, primarily focusing on regulating all aspects of the supply chain, from seed to sale. Underground sellers will now be required to be licensed by the city, and all cultivators and manufacturers will be required to send product to a third party for testing.

The city will allow already existing medical marijuana dispensaries to apply for a 120-day San Francisco Recreational Marijuana license. Not the only municipality to be dragging their feet, San Francisco will be another city delaying recreational permits so they can stay open when January 1st rolls around, while waiting for the new regulations structure to be completed.