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Wiener warns proposed SF cannabis restrictions will ‘kill off’ industry

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State Sen. Scott Wiener, pictured inside City Hall as a member of the Board of Supervisors in July 2016, warned his former colleagues that their proposed zoning laws for cannabis outlets could have a negative impact on future business in The City. (Rachael Garner/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner).
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The Board of Supervisors’ proposal Thursday to further restrict cannabis outlets in San Francisco is coming under fire by state Sen. Scott Wiener.

A day after members of the board proposed banning or capping the number cannabis outlets in the neighborhoods they represent, Wiener, a former board member, condemned the move, calling the proposed restrictions “over the top.”

“The Board of Supervisors is considering adopting *highly* restrictive new zoning rules for cannabis retail businesses,” Wiener wrote in post on Facebook. “These new rules, if adopted, will ban all new cannabis retail businesses in almost all of San Francisco.”

SEE RELATED: SF supervisors push for cannabis limits in their own districts

Wiener suggested members of the board are bowing to a “vocal minority.”

The board’s Land Use and Transportation Committee voted Thursday to amend proposed recreational cannabis regulations to increase the buffer zones around schools — where cannabis outlets wouldn’t be able to open — from 600 feet to 1,000 feet, even though the state law legalizing recreational cannabis allows for 600 feet. Board members also wants to impose the distance requirement around childcare centers.

Individual board members proposed specific limits for the neighborhoods they represent.

Supervisor Mark Farrell, for example, proposed allowing only one cannabis outlet in the commercial corridors he represents. Supervisor Aaron Peskin wants to ban cannabis outlets in Chinatown altogether, as does Supervisor Norman Yee in West Portal. Supervisor Katy Tang wants to impose a cap in the Sunset and prohibit cannabis outlets in ground-floor retail spaces.

A a cap on the three existing cannabis outlets in the Excelsior-Outer Mission commercial corridor was approved Thursday. Supervisor Ahsha Safai, who represents the areas, said he was “reflecting the voice of the neighborhoods,” as previously reported by the San Francisco Examiner.

Wiener argued these restrictions will cause San Francisco to miss out on the benefits the industry has to offer and “kill off this industry.”

“We have a *huge* opportunity to participate in this industry in a major way, with all the jobs, revenue, tourism, and creativity it brings. Yet, with these proposals, San Francisco is considering actually giving up this mantle,” Wiener wrote.

The board’s Land Use Committee will vote Monday on the recreational use regulations.

The full board is expected to vote Nov. 14 on the regulations.

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