San Francisco Resumes Licensing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

It's game back on for medical marijuana in San Francisco -- but for how long?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    New medical marijuana dispensaries can again apply for permits in San Francisco, after a Supreme Court decision to hear an appeal of a lower court case last week.

    The medical cannabis dispensary game is back on in San Francisco.

    Like many other places across California, the birthplace of medical marijuana -- where AIDS and cancer patients openly purchased weed before state voters passed 1996's Compassionate Use Act -- had halted issuing new licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries since the fall, when a court decision out of Southern California informed cities and counties across the state that licensing pot is in itself a violation of federal law.

    That state appeals court decision, handed down in the case of Pack vs. Long Beach, is now being appealed to the California Supreme Court. The appeal could take years to be ruled upon, but in the meantime, the lower court decision is vacated, and it's game back on.

    That's good news for the several dispensaries waiting in the wings for permitting hearings. One, The Green Cross, has been waiting for over a year to have its application for a walk-in dispensary in San Francisco's Excelsior District to be heard. The application was sitting on a bureaucrat's desk waiting to be examined for months and months, and then when a hearing was finally scheduled, the Pack decision put everything on hold.