Back on Track: SF Resumes Medical Marijuana Licensing Program

On Monday, San Francisco's Department of Public Health resumed permitting medical marijuana dispensaries.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Medical marijuana is under the microscope in San Francisco.

    Off, then on, then off again. And then -- on.

    San Francisco's  roller-coaster ride with its medical marijuana permitting program continued Monday, when the City's Department of Public Health announced its dispensary licensing program had resumed processing applications.

    New pot club applications had been on hold since December, when a state appellate court ruled that cities and counties violated federal law when they licensed medical marijuana clubs. That ruling was put on hold on Jan. 18, when the California Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal. San Francisco's dispensary program was given the green light to continue licensing pot clubs, but announced last week that they would hold off indefinitely while "clarity" was sought.

    The department found the clarity on Monday, according to the San Francisco Examiner, after some changes were made. City dispensaries are now prohibited from selling marijuana or marijuana products made by a different collective or cooperative, and all products must come from a "non-commercial" entity.

    All dispensaries in California must operate as nonprofit collectives or cooperatives under state law.

    Local officials have been under pressure from multiple fronts regarding medical marijuana: the federal goverment has closed five San Francisco dispensaries since November, and state officials have said the law is vague and needs more clarity.