Announced at a recent Land Use and Housing Committee meeting, San Diego officials are launching a full analysis of cannabis business regulations to see how they can be relaxed or changed to allow more minority and low-income residents to participate in the industry. As the eighth largest city in the US Residents who work in the cannabis industry want the regulations to be done right this time around.
Part of the changes could also be to limit the number of pharmacies, allow on-site consumption lounges, and soften rules that prohibit cannabis companies near schools, churches and other “sensitive receptors”.
But the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the main focus of the recent changes is to repair some of the communities hardest hit by the war on drugs.
San Diego officials recently founded the Cannabis Business Division and now believe that some of the city’s original regulations were too conservative and restrictive, and not quite live up to expectations of promoting a just industry. “We now see that there may be unintended restrictions that cause problems,” said PJ Fitzgerald, director of the new division. told the Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee at a recent meeting.
“If the city adopts a social justice cannabis program, we will certainly need room for growth and expansion, and so we need to study changes to the city’s cannabis program,” said Fitzgerald.
Another change could include lowering taxes on the manufacture and cultivation of cannabis, while another change could include allowing consumption lounges on-site, as is the case in other U.S. cities.
This isn’t the only big change in the San Diego cannabis industry. Two months ago over 26,000 residents of San Diego County have been awarded reduced cannabis convictions that have been reduced from crime to misdemeanor San Diego Union-Tribune reported. In addition, around 1,000 people were released with convictions for cannabis offenses.