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San Francisco Pot Dispensaries Await Final Approval For Sales

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Only hours before the scheduled Saturday start of recreational pot sales in San Francisco, a cloud of confusion remained over the many dispensaries still waiting for the official green light from city and state officials.

While several California cities celebrated the start of recreational pot sales to the public on January 1st, San Francisco was late to the party after city officials took too long to approve legislation.

Now the day before the January 6th start date for San Francisco, local dispensary operators were concerned about possible additional delays.

A.G. Melendez is the Director of Operations at the Green Door dispensary. His is one of 31 businesses waiting for final approval from both the city and state to sell pot in San Francisco. For the most part, the city still hasn't processed the paperwork.

"Unfortunately we're still waiting for the office of cannabis to contact us with that permission," said Melendez.

Seven dispensaries that already received approval from city officials are the most likely to be selling recreational pot Saturday, but the state now has to sign off on its end of the deal.

Eliot Dobris' dispensary the Apothecarium is on the city's list. He's hoping he won't have to turn away any more customers than he already has this week.

"Now it looks like we actually will be open tomorrow," said Dobris. "We keep getting people coming in asking if we're ready. We keep saying the first possible day is January 6th."

Melendez said it has been killing him all week to turn people away while he waits for approval, but for now he has no choice but to send business across the Bay.

"When people come through the door and they're saying, 'Where can I buy?' and the only thing you can say is, 'There's a couple cities in the East Bay,' that's a very hard thing to tell customers," said Melendez. "And hopefully they'll be back once we go legal"


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