Three new medical cannabis facilities in the Excelsior district were approved by the Planning Commission on Thursday despite increasing interest from the federal government to shutter such businesses across California.
Emails obtained by The San Francisco Examiner last week revealed the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration sought inspection records from The City’s Department of Public Health on 12 of San Francisco’s 21 existing dispensaries. Last fall, California’s four U.S. attorneys successfully shut down hundreds of dispensaries throughout the state — including five in San Francisco and one in Marin County— after inspecting similar records.
The facilities approved Thursday constitute two dispensaries that are new to San Francisco — TreeMed and Mission Organic Center — and a new storefront location for existing cannabis delivery service The Green Cross.
The Planning Commission has been given a green light — at least temporarily — to consider dispensaries, after permits were stalled last month due to a state appeals court ruling that local cannabis policies violate federal law. The decision has been appealed to the state Supreme Court, prompting the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office to advise consideration of permits while an updated ruling is mulled by judges.
Excelsior residents showed up to the Planning Commission meeting with a mix of opinions about dispensaries in the neighborhood, which currently doesn’t contain such businesses. Concerns included fears about dispensaries’ proximity to places where children gather, although all three are more than the legally required 1,000 feet away from schools.
Commissioners said although community concerns are appreciated, no aspects of the projects prevent them from being approved.
“There is nothing on this application that would even allow me to oppose it,” said commission President Ron Miguel.