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News (Media Awareness Project) - US CA: San Francisco Medical Marijuana Licensing Program
Title:US CA: San Francisco Medical Marijuana Licensing Program
Published On:2012-01-31
Source:San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Fetched On:2012-02-02 06:01:55
SAN FRANCISCO MEDICAL MARIJUANA LICENSING PROGRAM RESUMES

San Francisco was the first city in California to license its
dispensaries, with the passage of the Medical Cannabis Act in 2005.

San Francisco's medical cannabis dispensary program resumed licensing
and inspecting medical marijuana collectives, Department of Public
Health officials announced Monday. The move comes after the agency
said last week that the application process was suspended.

Under clarified rules, existing dispensaries must sign a statement
swearing that all medical marijuana sold on-site is cultivated in
California and comes from a grower who is a member of the
dispensary's nonprofit collective.

The health department is responsible for inspecting and permitting
The City's 21 existing medical marijuana businesses and accepting
applications for new clubs. New applications stopped being processed
in December following a ruling in a state appeals court. In that
case, Pack vs. the City of Long Beach, the court ruled that
California cities violated federal law by regulating and permitting
medical marijuana.

That ruling was vacated when the California Supreme Court agreed to
hear an appeal, and San Francisco's city attorney gave the health
department the green light to resume its program Jan. 20, but the
department had announced last week that all applications were still
on hold indefinitely.

Despite reviving the licensing and inspection program, some changes were made.

Several types of medical marijuana-laced food produced by companies
outside San Francisco and sold at many dispensaries throughout the
Bay Area are now banned at city dispensaries, according to a memo
issued by Larry Kessler, a senior inspector at the health department
who runs the dispensary program.

Dispensaries also "may not sell or distribute medical cannabis or
medical cannabis products produced by commercial enterprises or by
another collective/cooperative," Kessler wrote.

San Francisco became the first city in California to license
dispensaries when the Board of Supervisors passed the Medical
Cannabis Act in 2005.

The city currently has 21 such businesses, down from 26 a year ago.
Sine November, five have closed after receiving warning letters from
Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for Northern California.

The City's Planning Department is expected to hear two applications
for new dispensaries in the Excelsior district at its Feb. 16
meeting, including one that submitted its application more than a year ago.
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