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“We may have a pathway to an agreement,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who has floated the idea of granting permission for the city’s existing 46 medical marijuana dispensaries and delivery services to also sell for adult recreational use.
“Then we can hash out the details for how to go forward from there” as far as licensing goes, Peskin said.
“That would be a great thing — at least we would get something to happen,” said Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who has become increasingly frustrated at the political and personal tug-of-war that has erupted over the issue of regulating cannabis shops before the legal sales of recreational marijuana starts.
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While city voters overwhelmingly supported adult cannabis use in the 2016 election, the question of where the weed is to be sold set off a firestorm at the Board of Supervisors.
Three issues are at play — two policy-driven and the third political. All three issues, however, underscore the cultural divide in a city that has become both increasingly liberal and increasingly Asian in recent years.
The first issue is how far the pot shops should be kept from schools.
The current legislation from Mayor Ed Lee and the Planning Commission calls for a 1,000-foot pot-free zone. Some supervisors want pot retailers kept 1,000 feet from day care centers as well.
“What I’m hearing from constituents is that they just don’t want kids to walk around these dispensaries,” said Supervisor Katy Tang, who represents the heavily Asian Sunset District.
Pot industry advocates counter that, while such restrictions might sound reasonable, the effect would pretty much nip the pot business in the bud.
“When you put it all together, it means cannabis businesses will be prohibited in almost every part of San Francisco,” state Sen. Scott Wiener told a recent pro-pot rally at City Hall, also attended by Supervisors Hillary Ronen, Malia Cohen and Sheehy.
Also at issue is whether neighborhoods should be allowed to curtail the number of cannabis stores — similar to restrictions on chain stores, restaurants and bars — or ban them altogether.
Peskin, for example, has said he does not want recreational pot sold in Chinatown.
Which brings us to the third issue — the growing clout of Asian American voters, many of whom are older and oppose both medical and recreational marijuana.
“It is absolutely a cultural issue, and there should have been greater outreach by advocates,” Tang said.
Given the Board of Supervisors’ holiday schedule — and the various waiting periods required for new laws to take effect — it was growing doubtful the new regulations would be ready by Jan. 1.
Fairly or unfairly, the stopgap proposal to license existing medical marijuana clubs for recreational purposes would give those businesses a head start over the competition in what is predicted to be a multimillion-dollar industry.
On the other hand, it would at least allow San Francisco to maintain its long image as a leader in the marijuana movement.
Touchdown: Former 49ers Pro Bowl tight end Brent Jones has just made a high-stakes investment, plunking down $4.15 million for a two-bedroom unit in downtown San Francisco’s sinking and tilting Millennium Tower, according to real estate records.
The 58-floor luxury tower, opened in 2009, has sunk more than 17 inches and tilted 14 inches to the northwest.
Records show that Jones paid cash for the 2,819-square-foot unit on the 50th floor of 301 Mission St., with the sale closing in September. The condo was owned by Frank Jernigan, who posted a video on Vimeo last November showing a marble rolling on a hardwood floor inside his unit, then changing directions — the apparent result of the building being off kilter.
Jones is the latest high roller to invest in the tilting tower. Late last year, tech industry veteran Craig Ramsey paid $13 million for the two-bedroom penthouse owned by the late venture capitalist Tom Perkins, a founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.
Meanwhile former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, who early on bought a unit nine floors down from ex-teammate Jones, is suing the tower’s developer for allegedly concealing its problems. Montana’s suit also blames the neighboring Transbay Transit Center for contributing to the foundation’s movement.
Jones, who spends most of his time these days in Texas, did not respond to our request for comment.
San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross appear Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Matier can be seen on the KPIX-TV morning and evening news. He can also be heard on KCBS radio Monday through Friday at 7:50 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. Got a tip? Call (415) 777-8815, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @matierandross