20 February 2017

The San Francisco Chronicle reports..

San Francisco would have its own independent department of marijuana under legislation headed to the Board of Supervisors.

“The goal is to create a single office to manage the onslaught that we are facing come Jan. 1, when recreational pot becomes legal,” said Supervisor Jeff Sheehy.

Sheehy has asked the city attorney to draw up legislation to set up an independent department to regulate the cultivation, sale and distribution of weed within San Francisco.

“Although I don’t think we will be seeing much cultivation here once marijuana is legal,” Sheehy said. “It’s going to be too expensive.”

That still leaves sale and distribution, which Sheehy says are big challenges that will affect neighborhoods throughout the city — as well as existing medical marijuana dispensaries, which are now overseen by the city’s Public Health Department.

“We are thinking of calling it the Department of Cannabis,” Sheehy said.

In addition to issuing the permits required to grow, distribute or sell marijuana in San Francisco, the new department would have inspectors to keep an eye to see that the pot shops aren’t selling to people under 21, are keeping the hours they advertise and otherwise comply with city rules.

“Otherwise we will wind up overlapping with other departments,” Sheehy said.

And because no city department is complete without a commission to make policy, “we would have a director and a commission,” Sheehy said.

In other words, the full bureaucratic treatment — right up there with the likes of City Planning, Building Inspection and the city’s other 60 departments.

City department heads make from $122,070 to $355,992 a year, depending on the level of responsibility.

As for who will pay for all of this?

“At this point, I would say that the high probability — pardon the pun — is that the money will come from fees charged to the marijuana businesses,” Sheehy said.

They could make a killing selling T-shirts with the department’s official seal.