This week, the Board of Supervisors' Rules Committee, which consists of Supervisors Scott Wiener, Malia Cohen, and John Avalos, voted to appoint 11 out of 48 applicants to a task force that will help guide the city's policies and plans surrounding the inevitable statewide legalization of recreational marijuana. As the Examiner reports, "Cancer survivors, those living with HIV, business owners and medical marijuana dispensary operators were among the 48 applicants" for the seats, of which there will be a total of 14 the committee left three open to be filled at a later date.
The task force will be tasked with answering a variety of questions in order to alter the current citywide policies for zoning around medical marijuana. Among those, as SPARC founder and task force member Erich Pearson says, will be assessing what the immediate demand for pot will be. "We need to determine how many cannabis users we are going to have in San Francisco and how many stores that’s going to take to distribute that cannabis once it’s legal," he tells the Ex.
Next will be the issue of where pot shops can locate something that's been contentious in some neighborhoods that have seen dispensaries as magnets for crime/criminals. But once marijuana sales are regulated and decriminalized, this will theoretically be less of an issue, and pot entrepreneurs are eyeing things like second-floor spaces in the Financial District current rules make sure dispensaries are only in ground-floor spaces and previously off-limits neighborhoods like the Bayview.
Marijuana legalization is expected to pass in California in 2016, and a state task force convened by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom already produced their own initial recommendations earlier this year.
The eleven elections so far for what's called the Cannabis State Legalization Task Force:
Jesse Stout, medical marijuana attorney with Greenbridge Corporate Counsel
Erich Pearson, SPARC co-founder
Michelle Aldrich, longtime marijuana advocate
Sara Payan, dispensary employee at The Apothecarium
Jon Ballesteros, Senior VP of Public Policy for the San Francisco Travel Association
Barbara Fugate, retired 911 dispatcher
Tom McElroy, architect
Laura Thomas, Deputy State Director, California, for the Drug Policy Alliance
Terrance Alan, chairman of SF Late Night Coalition
Sarah Shrader, medical marijuana advocate, attorney
Daisy Ozim, TAYSF, transitional age youth collaborative community organizer