SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has approved an ordinance establishing The Cannabis State Legalization Task Force to advise the city on the local impact of proposed legislation legalizing adult use of cannabis.
Members of the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the ordinance on a second reading during Tuesday’s meeting.
Supervisor Scott Wiener, who was one of three supervisors to sponsor the legislation, said the creation of a cannabis task force “is an important step toward getting San Francisco prepared for the likely upcoming legalization of adult cannabis use.”
At least five statewide proposals to legalize cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, have already been submitted though it’s unlikely all will make the 2016 ballot. In order for a proposal to make the ballot, petitioners will need to collect at least 365,880 valid signatures.
According to city staff, if the state legalizes adult use and possession of cannabis, San Francisco “will face policy questions about the local implementation and enforcement of the new law.”
The city currently has no advisory body that makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, or City departments regarding such questions.
The task force will have 22 members, including 15 voting members and 7 non-voting members. Voting members will be required to include a public policy expert, an owner of a medical cannabis dispensary as well as two people who represent neighborhood associations. Non-voting members would include Police Chief Greg Suhr, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and Director of the Department of Public Health Barbara Garcia.
After two years the task force will be disbanded unless the Board of Supervisors re-authorizes it in a subsequent ordinance. During those two years, the group is required to submit at least two reports to the Board.
Currently, the use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana has been entirely legalized in the states of Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon, though it remains illegal under federal law.