City Hall Watch: Medical marijuana dispensaries receive waiver

Although The City’s medical marijuana dispensaries were initially told to obtain permits nearly two years ago, the Board of Supervisors voted to grant another extension Tuesday.

City legislators adopted rules governing the marijuana dispensaries in November 2005 in response to resident complaints that there were too many pot sellers, and that the businesses were often clustered together in neighborhoods, in some cases near schools, attracting drug dealing and crime.

The law required clubs to obtain city permits by June 2006 or be forced to close down.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to extend the permit deadline to Jan. 21, the second extension granted by the legislators.

“I find it more than ironic that this industry more than any other industry continues to be granted waiver, after waiver, after waiver,” said Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who voted against the extension.

Supervisor Chris Daly, who introduced the bill, said the dispensaries are working to comply with the law but city departments had been slow in processing the permits.

Permits require approvals from the Planning, the Public Health, and Building and Inspection departments, and the Mayor’s Office on Disability.

City Planner Tara Sullivan-Lenane told the board on Tuesday that permit has been granted to date, she said, while 29 others are working their way through the other city departments.

In other action

CHARTER AMENDEMENTS PROPOSED: Supervisor Jake McGoldrick introduced three charter amendments that could end up on the November ballot if he gains the support of six of his board colleagues. One would establish a five-member Department of Public Works Commission; another allow supervisors to have three legislative aides instead of two; and the third would change the City Treasurer from an elected to an appointed position.

HEARING REQUESTED: Supervisor Carmen Chu requested a hearing to determine if The City’s tree canopy is being properly maintained, after a tree limb fell and fatally struck a woman at Stern Grove.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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