Pot smoking lounges for those 21 and over? Weed smoking areas or tents at permitted events? Those are some of the items on the to-do list created by San Francisco’s Cannabis Legalization Task Force, the Chronicle reports, and that group's mandate just got real with the passage of Prop 64.
The task force, which was selected last December, has been mulling the likely possibility of legalization since then, and these are their conclusions so far. The city should pass a one percent excise tax on marijuana sales, and in general it should move swiftly. “We’re saying, ‘This is what we think you need to do first, second and third, and this is how you need to do it,’” task force Chairman Terrance Alan, who also chairs the SF Late Night Coalition, told the Chron.
The task force would also like to see fast permitting for recreational pot shops, however, those won't be arrive until legal recreational sales kick in after January 1, 2018, according to the language of the successful proposition. Further, the task force wants to work with schools to address how marijuana use is taught and understood — and sometimes punished.
Mayor Lee, naturally, may have ideas of his own. "I want our city to work immediately to pass the best laws and regulations we can,” the Chronicle quotes him. And with real estate so tight in San Francisco, Lee doesn't want to see big buildings become grow ops, encouraging the city to bar growers from “entering existing industrial buildings until the full impact of this emerging industry is better understood.” That's a front on which the pot task force agrees. San Francisco is likelier to become a hub for testing, marijuana technologies, and other businesses, rather than larger scale grows or farms.
As there are many in San Francisco with past marijuana crime convictions, Lee indicated that Supervisor Malia Cohen was "interested in crafting legislation to address the social justice component of decriminalization,” perhaps a sign that the city would make efforts like those in Oakland, which include setting aside pot business licenses for those who have been jailed or arrested for marijuana crimes. But Oakland's measures, it should be said, are hitting some bumps and are being criticized by industry leaders. At least we in SF aren't moving in the direction of San Jose: That city preempted recreational pot legalization entirely by banning legal sales altogether ahead of the state vote.