Pubdate: Wed, 19 Jul 2017
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)
Copyright: 2017 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Contact: P.O. Box 1909, Seattle, WA 98111-1909
Author: Rachel Swan


San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy sponsored legislation to create
the city's Office of Cannabis.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday created a new
"one-stop shop" to handle policies for marijuana businesses once
recreational cannabis becomes legal.

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy sponsored the ordinance to set up the Office of
Cannabis, which will open for business by the end of this year. It
will set up an application system for marijuana licenses, resolve
complaints, be a conduit to state regulators, and serve as a
centralized information source for the public.

The board unanimously approved it on the first reading after some
initial dissension.

Sheehy's measure also extended the life of the city's Cannabis
Legalization Task Force, which would have ended in August. It will now
live on at least until the end of next year.

"We've had an industry that's been on the margins of legality for a
large part of its existence, and now the state is about to fully
legalize adult use," Sheehy said, noting that the new state law left
many policy issues open for debate.

"Some of this stuff looks like candy," Sheehy said. "Do I really want
it sold at my local convenience store?"

Several supervisors expressed concerns that the marijuana industry
would come to resemble the tech industry in San Francisco - largely
white and male.

"We have not done a good job of getting equity in the tech sector,"
said Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who feared that the people who were
most harmed by U.S. drug policies would be excluded from the cannabis

Supervisor Ahsha Safai amended the ordinance, hoping to address
Fewer's concerns. His amendment required the new cannabis office to
consider communities that have been negatively affected by federal
drug laws in policy decisions.

The board approved the office on the same day it passed a $10 billion
city budget, amid last-minute sniping over how to divvy up $46 million
that the supervisors scooped from the mayor's budget proposal. The
budget passed on the first reading and is expected to be made final
next week.

The city budget included $700,000 to fund three Office of Cannabis
positions - a manager, a principal analyst and a management assistant
- - along with overhead, website development and public outreach. Mayor
Ed Lee also set aside $665,227 this year for five new Department of
Public Health employees who would help oversee permitting for medical
cannabis dispensaries.

The city currently has 39 permitted dispensaries and 28 pending

Separately, the board finally passed a set of comprehensive
affordable-housing laws that require developers of new market-rate
projects to set aside a portion of their units - 18 percent for
rentals and 20 percent for condominiums - for low-, moderate- and
middle-income families.

But a proposal to dilute a 2014 law mandating that companies beautify
sidewalk utility boxes hit resistance at Tuesday's meeting.

The measure by Supervisor Malia Cohen would have allowed telecom and
Internet service providers such as AT&T to pay fees instead of
planting trees near the boxes or decorating them with murals. Several
of Cohen's colleagues raised concerns over whether the fees - $2,000
for each revoked mural and $1,961 for each unplanted tree - were high

The supervisors sent the measure back to committee to calculate new
fees based on the sizes of the boxes.

They unanimously approved legislation by Supervisor Norman Yee to ease
the permitting process for child care facilities, which Yee said was
essential for keeping families in the city.

"At my office, we're already receiving calls from prospective child
care providers who have been waiting for something like this to come
along," Yee said.

The supervisors also voted to make the El Rey Theatre on Ocean Avenue
a historic landmark.

And they established proof-of-residency requirements for landlords who
evict their tenants in order to occupy a dwelling themselves. The
owner move-in law, which had been the focus of months of debate
between the moderate and progressive wings of the board, passed
unanimously on a final vote.
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