To be ready for the commencement of marijuana sales on January 1st, the board needs to vote on temporary regulations. But, the supervisors in San Fran are having a hard time agreeing on the placement of recreational stores as opponents are voicing concerns. The board will resume marijuana regulations following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Many of the opponents are older Chinese immigrants who oppose marijuana use in general and are fighting to limit it will be sold. Chinese-Americans play a vital role San Francisco’s history and one-third of the city’s 850,000 residents are Asian and Chinese-Americans, as well as the mayor.
The divided board supervisors may vote on a stop-gap measure to permit the sale of recreational marijuana through current medical marijuana outlets while they continue to work out what locations are acceptable for new stores.
“Let’s be honest: Cannabis is effectively legal now and the sky hasn’t fallen. A lot of the information people have been given is completely false,” stated Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who is a user of medical marijuana for the alleviation of pain. Sheehy is proposing to keep a 600ft distance from schools which mirrors the radius of stores that sell liquor or tobacco.
Some Chinese-American organizations are fighting for a total prohibition of retail stores in the city’s Chinatown and seeking stores to be at minimum 1,500 feet away from schools. Supervisors are considering a 1,000-foot radius that marijuana advocates believe is too restrictive for the compact city. Keep in mind, medical marijuana dispensaries are required to be at least 1,000 feet away from schools and minor recreation centers.
On Monday, Supervisor Aaron Peskin stated there is a measure to permit retail at the forty-six current medical marijuana facilities while the board figures out the exact zoning regulations. Peskin represents the Chinatown district and said he anticipates the board will have a resolution that satisfies most.
“We’re not just legislators. We are group therapists for 850,000 people and understanding what their concerns are, whether we agree or disagree, and addressing them respectfully is very important in the legislative process,” Peskin said.