San Diego to Host 8 Community Forums on Barriers Entering Legal Cannabis Industry – May 23 – June 16

by on May 17, 2022 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

While the City of San Diego plans to make key changes to how it regulates the local cannabis industry, city officials are hosting eight community forums this spring to encourage residents to speak about barriers they’ve encountered in entering the legal cannabis industry.

Residents will also be asked about any ideas they may have for ways to make the industry more inclusive.

The forums, which are being held in neighborhoods with relatively high minority populations, will take place May 23 through June 16. There will also be a June 15 forum on Zoom.

Central to the new plans are efforts to help people from Black, Mexican-American and other ethnic communities break into the business. Also, the new plans include the first increase since 2014 in the number of dispensaries allowed within the city. The changes are expected to go into  effect this fall.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune:

City officials say it’s time for San Diego to catch up with nearly all of California’s other large cities by establishing a state-subsidized cannabis equity program, which could give minorities preference for a city cannabis permit or help them expunge old drug convictions. Officials also plan to ask the City Council to make municipal code changes that would increase the maximum number of dispensaries allowed in the city from 36 to 38.

The proposed changes are in response to last winter’s re-drawing of City Council district boundaries, which pushed the number of dispensaries in north coastal District 1 and central urban District 3 above the maximum of four per district.

 Efforts to create a cannabis equity program, which the city launched in 2019 but did not pursue aggressively, are kicking into high gear this spring with a consultant’s analysis and a series of community forums.

Part of the reason for all this is there is a November 1 deadline for the city to finish the steps required for state approval of its proposed cannabis equity program. Seven other cities and counties — Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Long Beach, Humboldt County and Mendocino County — already have cannabis equity programs. According to the U-T, “most of those programs have been criticized for not making much impact.”


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