Pot clubs could get another extension for permits

Medical pot vendors in San Francisco would be allowed to wait until the nation has a new president before obtaining city permits to sell marijuana under a proposed deadline extension.

A resolution introduced by Supervisor Chris Daly would extend the deadline to secure city permits until Jan. 21 — one day after a new president is inaugurated. The proposed extension would be the second to be granted to vendors by city lawmakers since a permitting system was adopted in 2005. Since then, 31 dispensaries have applied for permits, but five of those dispensaries have since closed down, said Kevin Reed, president of the Compassionate Care Council, which represents some of The City’s dispensaries. Reed said his home-delivery service is the only dispensary in The City that has secured a full permit.

“If we don’t get this deadline extended … we would lose every single [medical cannabis dispensary] in The City except one,” Reed said.

The extension is needed to help the dispensaries overcome disability access issues, red tape and federal enforcement actions, he said.

State law allows the sale of marijuana for medical uses, but the drug remains illegal under federal law. Federal agencies in recent months have continued to pressure San Francisco dispensaries.

The Drug Enforcement Administration in December threatened to seize the assets of property owners who rent space to dispensaries in San Francisco, Kumin said.

Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are both expected to change the country’s marijuana priorities if elected, said Bruce Mirken, a San Francisco-based spokesman for the nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project.

Mirken said 12 states have passed laws permitting medical use of the drug since California voters started the trend in 1996.

The proposal was approved Thursday by the Planning Commission; it’s due to be considered by the Board of Supervisors.

jupton@examiner.com

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