US (CA): San Francisco lawmakers unanimously pass cannabis shop moratorium

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to prohibit new cannabis businesses citywide for the next four years. Existing stores and applicants in the pipeline won't be impacted by the ban. All 10 attending supervisors voted yes in a unanimous vote. Supervisor Hillary Ronen was absent.

Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, who authored the bill, said the cannabis industry is struggling with multiple challenges, including oversaturation and competition with the black market. Additionally, the city's dispensaries and cannabis businesses have drawn criticism over public-safety concerns, namely that cash-heavy businesses invite break-ins.

"It's a pause, not a ban," he said, "and ultimately, we can revisit where this is in a few years." He amended the proposal with an expiration date and emphasized that the board will review the policy impact in mid-2027 and decide whether to extend the ban or let it expire.

Safaí, who's running for mayor next year, also acknowledged a pervasive anti-cannabis sentiment within San Francisco's Asian American communities. The cannabis industry faces strong opposition from an increasingly vocal Chinese American immigrant community over cannabis's potential impact on children, mixed with other historical and cultural reasons.


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