San Diego City Council look to change cannabis regulations to address social equity

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The city is considering revamping its cannabis rules to better support diversity

Social equity has always been a recurring topic when it comes to the cannabis industry at the national level. Because of this, the San Diego City Council is notably considering easing certain regulations so that cannabis businesses can have an easier time promoting this movement.

San Diego has gone to great lengths to ensure that the city’s legal marijuana market is managed in the best possible way and, in addition to launching an agency to regulate its cannabis businesses, the City Council also passed a resolution accepting a state grant to support restorative justice for communities harmed by the failed War on Drugs. PJ Fitzgerald, director of the city’s new Cannabis Business Division, thinks the rules drafted in 2014 to govern San Diego’s legal cannabis market appear to be too strict and restrictive and that does not allow businesses to have inclusive participation in the industry. He added, “We’re seeing now that there may be unintended limitations that cause problems.”

Several proposals have been put on the table, and consideration is currently being given to reducing the required buffer zone between cannabis businesses and sensitive use sites, including schools and churches. Among other proposals, there are also plans to lift a cap on dispensaries, license on-site consumption lounges, and ultimately allow the operation of independent delivery services.

Fitzgerald adds, “As the city moves forward with adopting a cannabis social equity program. We will certainly need room for growth and expansion, so we will need to look at changes to the city’s cannabis program.”