Pot clubs in residential areas may get one more year

Medical marijuana clubs in residential areas could stay open for another year as a result of a proposed change to a six-month-old city law.

The law, adopted by the Board of Supervisors last year, banned clubs in residentially zoned areas.

Mirkarimi said that after speaking with community groups and city departments, he decided to amend the existing law. “We have some cleanup to do,” he said.

There are two clubs impacted by Mirkarimi’s proposal, the Vapor Room on Haight and Steiner streets, which is in Mirkarimi’s District 5, and the Re-Leaf Center at Folsom Street and 21st Avenue.

The law allows The City’s estimated 40 other pot clubs to continue operating but requires them to apply for a city permit by June 2007.

Mirkarimi’s proposal was unanimously approved Wednesday by the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee. The full Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the amendments this Tuesday.

Residents living near the medical marijuana clubs complained of crime and said the proposal breaks a promise made last year by city officials.

“I don’t feel, given the law that passed and was offered as protection, that I should live in this fear,” said Sanjay Katyal, who lives across the street from the Vapor Room. “There’s a number of things that can happen between now and July.”

While Federal law prohibits the possession and use of medical marijuana, California allows the dispensing of pot to treat specific medical problems.

In 1996, San Francisco residents overwhelmingly approved Proposition 215. The law allows for the legalized use and sale of marijuana to those suffering illness, infirmity and chronic pain. The clubs in San Francisco serve about 14,000 people who carry special medical cards allowing them to use the dispensaries.

The new city law has only once been tested. Last month, the Planning Commission denied a permit to a pot club seeking to open near Fisherman’s Wharf.

The law prohibits clubs from opening up within 1,000 feet of a school or recreational center. Clubs that opened before April 2005 can remain where they are, but will not be able to have on-site smoking if they are within 1,000 feet of a school or recreational center.

Mirkarimi has also proposed an amendment narrowing the definition of a recreational center to a place that “primarily” serves children under the age of 18. This could result in more clubs opening up and more on-site smoking.

The existing definition could prohibit clubs from opening up within 1,000 feet of all community centers, gyms, yacht clubs and private gardens.

jsabatini@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPolitics

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

From left, California state Sen. Milton Marks, Sen. Nicholas Petris, Assemblyman John Knox and activists Claire Dedrick, Sylvia McLaughlin and Janet Adams watch Gov. Ronald Reagan sign the bill establishing the Bay Conservation and Development Commission as a permanent agency in 1969. (Courtesy Save The Bay)
Sixty years of Saving San Francisco Bay

Pioneering environmental group was started by three ladies on a mission

Temporary high-occupancy vehicle lanes will be added to sections of state Highway 1 and U.S. Highway 101, including Park Presidio Boulevard, to keep traffic flowing as The City reopens. <ins>(Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Transit and high-occupancy vehicle lanes coming to some of The City’s busiest streets

Changes intended to improve transit reliability as traffic increases with reopening

Tents filled up a safe camping site in a former parking lot at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin in June 2020.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Proposal for major expansion of safe sleeping sites gets cool reception in committee

Supervisor Mandelman calls for creation of more temporary shelter sites to get homeless off streets

A surplus of	mice on the Farallon Islands have caused banded burrowing owls to stay year round instead of migrating, longtime researchers say. <ins>(Courtesy Point Blue Conservation Science)</ins>
Farallon Islands researchers recommend eradicating mice

The Farallon Islands comprise three groups of small islands located nearly 30… Continue reading

Once we can come and go more freely, will people gather the way they did before COVID? <ins>(Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner file photo)</ins>
What happens when the pandemic is over?

After experiencing initial excitement, I wonder just how much I’ll go out

Most Read