S.F.’s ‘Mainstreaming’ Medical Marijuana Regs Draw Praise


Photo: Terry Schmitt/UPI
“Sativa Steve” shows off one of dozens of varieties of pot in a medicinal cannabis shop in San Francisco.

‚ÄčSan Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries have to play by the rules — and some marijuana advocates couldn’t be happier about it, reports Chris Moody at The Daily Caller.

The City by the Bay passed new rules last week regulating the sale and distribution of medical marijuana in baked goods and other edible items, which according to observers takes the city one step closer to making pot a mainstream product.
The new regs, announced by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, require that all baked goods including marijuana are individually wrapped with labels that list the exact amount of cannabis in the product.
Marijuana edibles cannot resemble any kind of candy that may attract children, and no one under legal age may be present during the baking of manufacturing process, according to the new regulations.
Dispensaries that offer both hot and cold products on the same premises, such as brownies and milk shakes, are required to have a special permit from the Public Health Department.

San Francisco’s moves to impose regulations and taxation on marijuana are moves in the right direction, according to some marijuana activists.
“For the most part the regulations seem pretty common sense,” said Mike Meno, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We don’t want this to be uncontrolled and unregulated. That’s what we’ve had for 70-plus years.”
California’s marijuana industry has boomed with medical legalization, but the market could expand much farther with legalization for all adults, which is on November’s ballot. Proposition 19 would allow local governments to set their own regulations, setting the stage for potentially hundreds of new rules in the coming years.
“This is all a natural process towards the mainstreaming of cannabis,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).”With legalization clearly comes regulation.”
The government can do nothing to ensure the safety and quality of marijuana, and they certainly cannot tax it, as long as cannabis products remain illegal, according to St. Pierre.
“Overall it’s just another example of the direction that medical marijuana and the marijuana industry as a whole is heading in, and that’s sensible regulation,” Meno said.
“For so many years marijuana has been uncontrolled and unregulated, and prohibition has been a disaster,” Meno said. “All we’ve been asking for are the same types of treatment that are applied to so many other products in this country.”
“This is about the mainstreaming of marijuana,” Meno said.
With California’s state budget deficit in the tens of billions of dollars and growing daily, activists say that taxation of cannabis could help close the gap on the budget shortfall.