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San Francisco Strengthens Cannabis Equity Rules For Processing New Permits

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) -- The Board of Supervisors this week unanimously approved a measure from Mayor London Breed to make changes to the city's three-year-old cannabis equity program.

The measure creates new priorities for how the city's Office of Cannabis processes applicants for permits, according to a news release issued Wednesday from the mayor's office.

"As San Francisco works to recover from COVID-19, it's important that we support small businesses, including our cannabis industry," said Breed. "This legislation helps us make sure the program continues to achieve its goals and ensure that cannabis business owners are supported and have the resources they need to be successful in San Francisco."

In the three years since the city's cannabis equity program was established to lower the barriers for entry to the industry for disadvantaged people, there have been 94 applicants and 36 permits issued.

Specifically, the legislation:
-Prioritizes cannabis equity applicants who are sole proprietors for permit processing;
-Shortens the time period for a transfer of more than a 50 percent ownership interest in a cannabis business from 10 years to five years, giving businesses more flexibility to grow
-Requires that cannabis businesses make additional social equity contributions if they seek to reduce the equity applicant's ownership interest by 20 percent or more.

"Thank you to Mayor Breed for strengthening social equity and creating more economic opportunities to those hurt by the War on Drugs," Marisa Rodriguez, director of the city's Office of Cannabis, said in a statement. "Mayor Breed's legislation ensures that there will continue to be a legacy of equity in the city for years to come."


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