Pot market to be free of drug 

The organizer of a medical marijuana farmers market promises there will be no fresh produce sold at the unique gathering planned at a San Francisco bar Saturday.

Angelic Cisneros, a medical cannabis patient, said she was just trying to bring patients, providers and growers together for the first San Francisco Cannabis Farmers Market on Saturday at Jelly’s, a bar with a large outdoor patio near AT&T Park.

But some confusion sprouted from a flier for the event requiring a doctor’s recommendation for entry and access to “Prop 215 Medicine.” Cisneros said she’s trying to start a regular marketplace in anticipation of the passage of state Proposition 19, which would legalize the drug for recreational use statewide, but she doesn’t plan on breaking the law.

“There’s not going to be any marijuana for sale,” Cisneros said. “I don’t want to get anyone in trouble.”

The idea highlights some of the problems endemic of medical marijuana regulation in San Francisco. While dispensaries must go through a complex process at the Planning Department to open a shop that sells medical marijuana, the rules for individual growers is sometimes less rigorous.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health distributes dispensary permits to growers and dispensary operators alike, according to Rajiv Bhatia, medical director of occupational and environmental health for the department. But individuals can grow marijuana for permitted businesses without having a permit themselves.

“We have one of the most elaborate regulatory systems in the country,” Bhatia said.

Those regulations have led to some outrage among medical marijuana advocates. Last month, police raided a home at 215 Crestmont Drive and arrested Cody Phillips, 28, and took 162 plants, several bags of marijuana, cash and growing equipment.

Phillips claims he was growing the marijuana for a cooperative called the Axis of Love, but prosecutors still charged the case.

A Board of Supervisors task force on medical marijuana is currently working on making some city regulations clearer.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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Brent Begin

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