San Francisco OKs rules for recreational pot shops, with tentative date for first sales

SAN FRANCISCO (Cannabist) — San Francisco leaders have overcome deep divisions about how to regulate legal recreational marijuana in the densely packed city, approving pot-friendly rules that could allow sales to start the first week of January.

San Francisco will not be ready for sales on New Year’s Day, but if Mayor Ed Lee approves the rules quickly, the city could be open for business at midnight Jan. 5, said John Cote, spokesman for the city attorney’s office. There are about 40 approved medical marijuana outlets that can start selling to adults that day.

The board approved a 600-foot (180-meter) buffer zone between pot shops and schools, rejecting attempts by Supervisor Katy Tang, who represents a heavily Asian district, for a 1,000-foot (305-meter) barrier. She also wanted the barrier to apply to child care centers.