SF Supe Floats Pot-Growing Plan

Making money off Mary Jane

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010  |  Updated 8:00 AM PDT
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New Medi-Pot Tax Approved in Oakland

Illegal pot-growing operations often end in electrical fires.

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San Francisco voters could have the chance to vote on whether the City should tax and regulate the growing and selling of marijuana.

The Chronicle tells us Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi is floating an idea for the June ballot that would create official City policy to "license, regulate and tax the cultivation and sale of cannabis" for either medical or recreational use.

The cannabis growing regulations would address issues like where and how much marijuana could be grown, and how to make the grows safe. One of the issues with residents growing marijuana now is that the illegal operations often require growers to overload power sources to rig lights and equipment, risking electrical fires.

Mirkarimi was at the forefront of the City's push for medical marijuana regulations. The forward-thinking politician has also been instrumental in some of the City's other progressive legislation, including the bans on plastic bags and cat declawing.

The City would need the state's approval in order to move forward on taxation, Mirkarimi said.  That issue could make it to the 2010 ballot.

An Assembly committee on Tuesday passed a bill to legalize marijuana use for recreational purposes but it will not be heard by the health commitee in time for a Friday deadline for 2009 bills, which effectively kills it.

Ammiano says the vote still legitimizes the need to debate the issue and he may reintroduce it next year, since a similar proposal may come before voters in November.

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