Looking ahead to the full, free-wheeling retail marketplace for recreational marijuana that will be hitting California in just over a year, Mayor Ed Lee introduced legislation Tuesday that would require pot growers to go through an extensive (and probably painful) permitting process in order to set up indoor pot grows in industrial spaces in San Francisco. As the Chronicle reports, Lee's effort is aimed at preserving the limited amount of PDR (production, distribution, and repair) space that remains in the city something that was also addressed by Prop X, just passed in last week's election. But production of pot, he's implying, can't just run rampant and shove other types of business out.
The bill states “an over-concentration of commercial cannabis cultivation businesses may have a negative impact on the character of neighborhoods within PDR zoning districts, and on commerce and industry of the city.” To address this, and the fact that formerly industrial neighborhoods like SoMa and the Mission have lost nearly a million square feet of PDR space in the last five years, pot growers would have to apply for conditional use permits before converting industrial space to pot grows, and these would be subject to public hearings and Planning Commission approval. This new ordinance would be subject to Board of Supervisors approval.
Per the Examiner, Lee said in a statement, "As emerging sectors get introduced to our city, we must be thoughtful and strategic on how one can co-exist with another, while safeguarding the economic diversity and vibrancy of our city and the jobs of our residents." They note that Lee's proposal would be an interim measure, and not necessarily permanent.
Next it will likely have a hearing at the Board's Land Use and Transportation Committee.
Previously: Marijuana Totally Legal In California, Dudes; Prop 64 Passes