On July 18, 2017, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to create the Office of Cannabis. Consisting of three employees, the new department will be responsible for approving permits for recreational cannabis dispensaries in the city.
Although medical cannabis dispensaries are expected to gain preferential treatment with regards to permitting, city officials expect an influx of new applications from prospective dispensaries owners once recreational sales become legal on Jan. 1, 2018.
Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who sponsored the ordinance creating the Office of Cannabis, told KTVU that the move was meant to get ahead of recreational sales and provide a centralized department for the city’s recreational cannabis industry.
“My personal opinion is things are probably going to be bigger than we anticipate,” Sheehy said. “What this does is set up a one-stop shop so that we have a centralized place in order to regulate this to make sure we do this safely, appropriately.”
This is in contrast to how the city has approached medical cannabis dispensaries in previous years, where multiple departments, such as building inspection and public health, were involved in the regulatory process.
According to the San Francisco Gate, the Office of Cannabis should be up and running by the end of the year.