San Francisco establishes cannabis committee to oversee industry

Nearly a year after San Francisco decided to permit recreational cannabis, a body to oversee the industry was established Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.

The Cannabis Oversight Committee will oversee the Office of Cannabis, which was established to permit the industry, and recommend policy changes to the board.

The legislation to create the cannabis committee was introduced by Supervisor Sandra Fewer, who had previously proposed a cannabis commission which comes with greater powers, but she dropped that proposal after the industry pushed back.

The committee will consist of seven non-voting members and nine voting members.

“This Cannabis Oversight Committee will convene representatives of cannabis business operators, workers, patients and other key stakeholders in the cannabis industry to oversee the Office of Cannabis implementation of these laws by evaluating data on the industry’s growth,” Fewer said.

The Office of Cannabis director, a position currently held by Nicole Elliott, will have to report on the industry by January 2020. The report would include permits issued, jobs created and wages earned, and the time it takes to process permit applications.

The board will appoint members to serve on the committee and an inaugural meeting will be held within 30 days of eight members being named to serve on the body.

The committee comes about 10 months after The City allowed existing medical dispensaries to sell retail cannabis, but has to approve additional applicants through an equity program meant to help those who were impacted by the War on Drugs, such as being arrested for selling cannabis and living in a low-income neighborhood, to get a foothold in the industry.

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