San Francisco, CA -- After weeks of legislative lurches and delays, The City’s medical pot club policy is finally coming into clearer focus this week as supervisors update the fee structure one more time and a just-released map outlines where clubs would be permitted under the latest proposals.
That means the full board should have all the pieces of the much-amended package before them on Tuesday, when they could vote to end the current moratorium on new clubs and become the first city in the state to impose health and planning regulations without limiting the number of clubs outright.
Patients with their doctors’ permission are eligible as customers for the marijuana under state Proposition 215 that voters approved nine years ago. But under the latest version of Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi’s proposal, planners have said 14 or so out of the current 35 clubs may have to close or relocate because of limits keeping them away from schools, residences or industrial areas.
The Planning Department’s revised map shows the remaining area most open to the clubs would be around Market Street downtown, with scattered spots along Mission and Lombard streets as well as spots in the Sunset and Richmond districts, among others. All applications for either existing or new clubs would trigger neighborhood notification and public hearings, including the option to appeal a permit to the Board of Appeals.
One more question mark, however, may be Supervisor Chris Daly’s openness to the new zoning regulations, which he tried unsuccessfully to block altogether so that health standards would be maintained without forcing clubs to move from their current locations. Noting that his South of Market area already has the greatest preponderance of pot clubs, he said he doesn’t want to see a neighborhood uprising if more and more of the dispensaries try to locate there.
“We’re willing to take a disproportionate number of clubs,” he explained, “but we’re not willing to take all of them.”
The proposed fees now stand at $6,691 for the initial permit, raised $581 to cover newly mandated hearings and review costs, and $3,100 for an annual license. Both would be adjusted each year as the Consumer Price Index rises, under the Budget and Finance Committee’s recommendation on Thursday.
If the board does adopt new regulations next week, they would still require a second vote and the signature of Mayor Gavin Newsom. Most of his suggestions have already been incorporated, however.
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Author: Jo Stanley, Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, October 20, 2005
Copyright: 2005 San Francisco Examiner