Task force will advise the Board of Supervisors, Mayor and City departments regarding local impacts of possible state legalization, including making policy recommendations to ensure effective implementation in San Francisco
San Francisco – Today, Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce legislation to form a Cannabis State Legalization Task Force, which will be tasked with planning local policies if cannabis is legalized in the 2016 California statewide election. The Task Force will consist of representatives from City Departments, the cannabis industry and consumers, local businesses, tourism and policy groups, nightlife advocates, public health advocates, and neighborhood associations. Currently, several pro-legalization groups are crafting statewide legalization ballot measures for 2016.
“Within the next two years, use of cannabis is likely to be legal in California, and we need to be prepared with smart public health, zoning, and other local implementing regulations,” said Supervisor Wiener. “If we don’t formulate these policies over the next year or two, we will end up having a chaotic fire drill after legalization occurs. By acting now to bring together a wide range of residents, businesses, advocates, and government leaders, we can flesh out the countless social, economic, land use and enforcement issues surrounding legalization, and we can propose thoughtful local approaches.”
“With the growing inevitability of the state legalizing adult use cannabis in 2016, San Francisco shouldn’t put its head in the sand and be forced to react,” said former San Francisco Entertainment Commissioner Terrance Alan, now a co-founder of California Cannabis Voice. “We should get ready in a comprehensive way, provide a structure for the creation of thousands of working wage jobs, regulation and taxation standards to stabilize growth of the emerging industry. Using a task force to set the stage for the conversation encourages and includes everyone to feel a part of the city’s future.”
The legislation establishes a 19 member Cannabis State Legalization Task Force, which will be made up of representatives from the Department of Public Health, Fire Department, Police Department, Department of Building Inspection, Planning Department, and San Francisco Unified School District. There will also be seats for representatives from the cannabis community, including an individual who has worked in the industry, an owner or operator of a medical cannabis dispensary, two individuals who use cannabis, and a labor union that represents cannabis workers. There will also be individuals representing business, tourism, neighborhood associations, public health advocacy, and entertainment/nightlife advocacy.
The task force will commence meeting at the end of this summer and will have one year to report back to the Board of Supervisors on legal, social, land use, and enforcement issues that are likely to arise if the State adopts proposed legislation to legalize cannabis. The task force will take no position in advocating for or against legalization, and will instead focus on policy and administrative solutions if legalization does occur.