San Francisco’s medical cannabis dispensary program has resumed their licensing and inspecting of marijuana collectives. Department of Public Health officials announced on Monday that the application process is now back on after weeks of being suspended.
New applications had stopped being processed in December when a ruling in a state appeals court said that California cities violated federal laws by regulating and permitting medical marijuana. (Pack vs City of Long Beach). But that ruling was vacated when the California Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal, and San Francisco’s city attorney gave the health department their blessing to resume its program on Jan. 20. However, the department announced last week that all applications were still on hold indefinitely.
The agency did use the time off of the program to clarify some rules. Existing dispensaries must sign a statement swearing that all medical marijuana sold on-site is cultivated in California and comes from a grower who is a member of the dispensary’s nonprofit collective. Medical marijuana-laced food produced by companies outside San Francisco that is now being sold at many dispensaries throughout the Bay Area are banned at the city dispensaries. Also in the memo from Larry Kessler, a senior inspector at the health department who runs the dispensary program, says dispensaries may not sell or distribute medical cannabis or medical cannabis products produced by commercial enterprises or by another collective/cooperative.
San Francicso was the first city in California to license dispensaries in 2005 by the Board of Supervisors. The city has 21 medical marijuana businesses.