San Francisco to pause taking new cannabis retail business applications

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San Francisco authorities placed a moratorium on accepting new applications for cannabis retail business licenses until 2028 following a unanimous vote by the city’s Board of Supervisors.

The move is “a pause, not a ban,” said San Francisco Supervisor and bill author Ahsha Safaí, according to The San Francisco Standard online news outlet.

Existing applications will still be processed, SFGate reported.

Safaí said the board will review the impact of the change in mid-2027 and decide whether it should continue.

A “sunset” date for the expiration of the ordinance was set for Dec. 31, 2027, after which the city would resume accepting new retail license applications, according to SFGate.

San Francisco is home to about 32 medical marijuana dispensaries and 31 recreational retailers, the Standard reported, with 100-plus applications pending.

The pause affects permit applications for brick-and-mortar retailers, cannabis delivery services, medical marijuana dispensaries “and retail functions of microbusinesses,” The Center Square news outlet reported.

“Proponents of the measure, including the San Francisco Cannabis Retailers Alliance, argue that San Francisco’s cannabis market is oversaturated and cannot sustain more businesses than those currently in the pipeline,” according The Center Square.