San Francisco mayor approves recreational pot rules

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 13: Containers of medicinal marijuana are seen on display at the Alternative Herbal Health Services cannabis dispensary July 13, 2006 in San Francisco. San Francisco city planners are deciding July 13 if they will issue a permit to allow Kevin Reed to open the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary right in the middle of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area, a popular tourist destination. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – San Francisco could have recreational weed for sale the first week of January under legislation signed by the city’s mayor.

Mayor Ed Lee on Wednesday approved legislation that sets up a permitting system and dictates where future pot shops can be located.

All marijuana businesses need a local permit in order to apply for a state license that is required to operate in 2018.

San Francisco will not be ready for sales on New Year’s Day when recreational weed becomes legal statewide.

More than 40 city outlets now authorized to sell medical marijuana could start selling adult-use pot Jan. 6 if they meet local and state requirements.

The Los Angeles City Council also approved its rules for commercial sales Wednesday.

Californians voted to approve Proposition 64 in November 2016. The use and sale of marijuana is set to become legal statewide on Jan. 1.

However, individual cities and counties are allowed to establish their own permitting requirements and regulations for businesses hoping to set up shop for retail sales, as well as growing or processing operations.

74 percent of San Francisco voters supported Prop 64.

Statement from Mayor Ed Lee:

“Today, I signed legislation that establishes comprehensive regulations for commercial cannabis activity in San Francisco and allows for the sale of adult-use cannabis in our city.

This legislation strikes the right balance for San Francisco residents and businesses. It brings the cannabis industry out of the shadows, addresses safety and public health concerns and takes a substantive approach to atoning for the harmful effects of the War on Drugs by establishing an equity program.

This has been a contentious issue, but we have developed a system that will allow for a measured rollout of these new rules while ensuring input and feedback from the community. As with any emerging industry, we will be continuously evaluating the impacts of this legislation and remain flexible and open to adaptation as necessary.”

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