South City Cannabis Dispensary Survey Results

South San Francisco, Ca   May 8, 2017 

As the City considers options regarding cannabis dispensaries, Everything South City did a study of our own to gauge the interest in the conversation and what issues our neighbors might have, allowing them a voice in this discussion. Below are the results and we thank our neighbors who took part in this informational voluntary survey. On March 8, 2017 the City Council voted to continue the moratorium on commercial marijuana activities until January 23, 2018 with a 4-1 vote with Councilmember Addiego voting against the moratorium. (Ordinance at bottom of page) To view the City Council meeting CLICK HERE

It was noteworthy that the majority of neighbors responding to our survey  do not use marijuana yet believed it should be available for others. And while many neighbors may have a difference of opinion, it is interesting to note the reasons in the comments, if for no other purpose than to understand how others think. Too often, especially in today’s political climate, we are inclined to cut off others who think differently and only surround ourselves with like-minded individuals. It is to everyone’s benefit to at least listen to multiple views because from there we can find common ground for discussions to move forward.

Please feel free to post your comments adding your voice to the conversation.

Do you support a Cannabis Dispensary in SSF?

YES: 54.84%                               NO   29.75%

YES for MEDICAL USE ONLY  14.34%               UNSURE/No COMMENT  1.08%




If yes, why?

I have a medical card and it be much easier for me to go here instead of sf


It helps with medical issues.


it would closer to my home


It’s just about that time please thank you..saves me gas and time instead of going to the city. make it happen it wont hurt anyone


Because I am a patient myself and it would be beneficial to have one near my home.

Some days I am too ill to drive into the city. Delivery options are few and variety of product is linked to the peninsula.


Whether it’s here or not it doesn’t stop people from getting it. Much like bb gun bans in SF don’t stop anyone from buying them in Daly City


Easier to access if you live in SSF like myself.


Patient need it


A very good taxable income


It would be convenient for someone who relies on it for medical purposes in addition to recreational smokers.


Because it’s very useful for many reasons.


I support it and think it would be a great idea I have my cannabis card for medical reasons and would be perfect to have a dispensary close to home since I live if SSF


I see it as similar to a liquor store selling alcohol.


People use it anyway. Might as well be ok with it. Better than prescriptions meds that can be a forming habit and cause damages to your organs. Marijuana can be a better alternative.


It would make medical marijuana easily accessable to the people who truly need it for their medicine.


Needed for medicine


Because it would ease the path for those who need it medically. For those who will soon use it legally recreationally, it will reduce the dangerous effects of the black market and might provide some needed income for city services.


Local business give back to our communities


Because it helps sick people


Easier and closer access to local medical patients


Nothing wrong with it.


Marijuana is great for medical purposes, but is also a drug that is much safer than others, including alcohol. With the opening of a dispensary, more revenue can be generated, which can then be circulated back into SWF’s community.


Lack of dispensaries between SF and SJ


Why not?


It’s earths medicine and better than prescription medicine.


I see no problem in smoking marijuana– however I believe it should hold up to the same legal standards as alcohol.


To help people


Some people’s need it


It will boost the economy of our city so we can fund even more projects and everyone should have access to medicine . The concern is that children will lean towards marijuana usage but if children want it enough they’ll get it anywhere. Including the streets where it can be laced or in other cities, boosting their economy rather than ours.


because marijuana is harmless and has a lot of medicinal benefits people can take advantage of.


Only dispensaries are currently in SF or SJ. Makes it more difficult for people living in between/ San Mateo to not go far for their products.


A legit dispensary beats illegal sales – will not be accessible to minors – provides valuable resource for those who need it for medical reasons


Only medical used. It’s very important for those sick people.


I support the medicinal use of Marijuana.


I work in the industry and meet a lot of people who travel far into San Francisco just to find the resources and quality that they deserve. If we do not open something similar to this they will still keep buying it off the streets.


Because it is evident that there is lack of access to a physical medical marijuana dispensary in South San Francisco and surrounding areas. Patients must go out of their way to get their medicine and many cant afford a caregiver to get the medicine for them.


People with medical conditions need local, safe locations to purchase.


Because it’s legal now and finally the truth about cannabis is coming out, it does not kill. Alcohol on the other hand kills people.


Yes because we are a growing community and need to bring in medication for people who really need it


People need a safe place to buy it. They’re going to buy it so we may as well keep it safe and taxed.



I need better access to medicine


The dispensaries will help those with a legitimate medical need. I am not in favor of casual use in the likes of alcohol consumption.


It’s not a drug


because I am a medical marijuana card holder. It would be nice to have a dispensary closer to home.


If other recreational vices can be right back purchased at specific stores (I.e. Alcohol and cigarettes) then marijuana users should be able buy their vice locally as well.


Because why not?


Because I support medical marijuana use and I think it would be good for the people in ssf that could benefit from a dispensary being closer to home.


Prop 64, duh


Increased revenue, marijuana awareness, reduced crime, employment opportunities and potential for large market growth.


Why not actually… 2017zzz


Because it helps a lot of people for many things cancer patients to


More money for the city, to help people who benefit from medicinal marijuana.

It’s needed one for a long time


I’m a medical user, and it would be SO nice to not have to drive all the way into AD to get my meds. I think the money from the dispensary could do nothing but he’ll our little city.


Great source of profit for the community and will help those with a medical need.


Great new income for the committee and tax dollars. If people are going to do it might as well have a save reliable place to do business.


Because the revenue can be used to support local infrastructure and education funds as well as community sponsorships.


I have been a medical marijuana user for years and have to get my orders from San Francisco. Would be great if it could be closer.


It is a medicine that many suffering from chronic ailments need in order to get through their day. Its dangers are no different from any other prescription medicine.


So people don’t have to drive into the city.Parking is bad and some of those areas don’t feel safe.


It would give those that use it a safe place to buy


Prevents illegal sales


Freedom of choice and not as bad as Alcohol. But I would make sure there was a reliable way of checking ID and birth-dates…


Because alcohol kills more people than weed has ever or will ever!!!!!!!!!!! We have liquor stores selling it day and nite-the majority of people in SSF smoke pot – don’t kid yourself-the money that would flow into our great city from the taxes the dispensary would have to pay every year would make SSF the richest city on the peninsula – that’s why I support a marijuana dispensary in SSF tons of money into schools,sports programs and skate parks and cool shit like that


prop 64 has passed = marijuana should be available everywhere and anywhere in California


It’s a revenue source for he city. The patients who need it are going to get it somewhere, why not have the city reap he benefits of a growing industry.


Reduces Street Dealers, reduces the amount of arrests for a petty crime, reduces people buying off people who may be selling synthetic drug.



Since it’s legal now people need to get it somewhere and SSF might as well make some money while at it.


It’s legal, safe and no worse than liquor.


It would be convenient for people who need it for medical reasons and would mean that anyone getting it would be getting it in a safe controlled environment where they know what they are getting.



If no, why?

SSF is need of so many other things before a dispensary. Affordable housing, decent grocery stores, better fields for sports, etc.


Keep it out of beautiful SSF


Marijuana clubs attract a criminal element. They are frequently robbed as are their patrons who have purchased marijuana.


To protect the youth away from abusing it.


The negative side effects are greater than the benefits.


I don’t believe this type of shop should be anywhere but at your Dr.’s office


No need for it in ssf!


Because south city is so small and theses neighborhoods are full of children and having a dispensary would psychologically make them believe its normal for them to one day consume it.


The wrong element and image for SSF.


I do not want to raise my kids around marijuana and having all types of people come to our town will not be safe.


There are plenty of other places to acquire the products.


Too much for the City to look after and crime rate will likely to increase and marijuana tax isn’t going to cover for hiring more cops or isn’t good way to fund your kid to college. Oversight will cost more to the City in the future.


keep it on Haight St.


The use of drugs poses nothing positive for society or for the individual. Studies show the negative impact that illicit drug use has on both. Let’s encourage people to lead happy and productive lives that do not involve the victimization of individuals by the drug trade.


We already have too much traffic congestion in SSF Downtown aswell as in the Biotechnology Area during commute hours. Putting a dispensary in before tackling the greater traffic issue would do more harm to SSF then the good it could provide.


I am anti drugs, anti drug addicts and don’t want that crap or the mindless idiots who get high off of it hanging around my city. NNNNNOOOOO!!!!! Is that plain enough for you?


Brings in a bad element, and unwanted visitors


I can’t stand the smell and my wife is allergic to it.


Because this city is already looking more and more like San Francisco with all this crack heads and sex offenders wondering all over down town were a small beautiful city and don’t need none of this…


Just more trouble for our police to handle.


some people are getting addictive to it thus producing more crimes


brings in too many criminals and pot is bad for you


There is enough people smoking already without it. No, thank you.


Because I do not have any trust in the City or County to regulate it. If the City would make any money from having a dispensary, I do not believe the City will put the money back into what matters…education for our children.


Crime, under age Access. DUI increase. Smells


I don’t want this in my backyard


I do not think it is really needed on this area.


Using marijuana leads to other drugs and negative activities such as burglaries, robberies and other crimes because people need money to buy marijuana. Using marijuana causes the senses to dull and act irresponsibly more so than a normal person who is irresponsible.


We have enough crime in SSF and don’t need to add people high on grass. NO WAY


I support legalization, but don’t think it’s a good idea to put a dispensary here in SSF. It’s not the right image for our community at this point. We should be trying to make SSF more family friendly to attract more business in our downtown. Would rather see projects like this in Burlingame/San Mateo.




There are enough.



I don’t support encouraging the use of addictive substances.



Keep it in San francisco or San Jose less hassles that way.



I think they draw a negative element people-wise.



Because I am personally sickened by the smell. Recreational use has just exploded. I can’t go to the grocery store, post office or bank without smelling it coming from some car or person nearby. I cannot begin to imagine the haze outside the front door of a dispensary. It could end up right next door to other businesses that would then have to deal with that smell and haze.



If it’s so ok, then why aren’t the pharmacies carrying the product? Too much potential crime associated with the locations-if there wasn’t there would be no need to security.


Might bring crime


Didn’t know there was one


It’s a mind altering drug that is also illegal. Why teach no drugs in schools but then hypocritically want to make money from selling them in our community. Crime will go up. Look at Haight Street in San Francisco. Disgusting.


Let’s focus on severing the majority of the residence first — a grocery store would be nice! In general it’s NOT a legal drug.


It should be distributed only by pharmacies an/ or hospitals


Against recreational use


Someone has forgotten about second-hand smoke. I don’t wish to breathe marijuana smoke.


No accountability when sold to kids.


don not believe that we need one.




Be serious! We have enough homeless and gang members and pot smoking teens who, in addition to already having the ability to obtain illegal drugs–pot, meth, etc. within our city limits, who also will be easily able to obtain medical marijuana cards for bogus reasons. Have you ever been in one of these dispensary shops? My understanding is the THC levels are lower in this specific type of pot, but still people, let us not add to the crime and more little corner drug dealings from those “legally” obtaining yet another drug. My street/neighborhood is inundated with this already, let us not add to the mess. Keep our citizens safer, not living with more anxiety, more drug opportunities, “legal” or not–especially the young adults and seniors.


I know that it will bring a lot of revenue for the city but also a lot of people not from south city looking for a public place to “trip”and that can mean increased negative effects to locals.


It brings in the wrong crowd


Plenty of places in San Francisco to get that garbage, and putting one here would bring the garbage people here to our city.


It’s illegal under Federal law. If the Feds get a burr under their saddle how will it affect communities that have embraced the illegal selling of dope. Will we be punished somehow? Like Trump says he will punish sanctuary cities? It’s also likely to attract a bad element and we don’t need anymore of that.


A dispensary will attract the wrong type of people we want in our community.




Do you use Marijuana? (anonymous answers/ no tracking)

YES    45.49%         NO  50.18%          NO COMMENT   4.33%



If yes, how do you obtain?

Medical Dispensary        74.05%

Home Delivery                 39.69%

Friend                                 25.95%

Grow                                    13.74%

Other                                     6.87%




Do home deliveries & close to SF dispensaries play a part in your opinion(s)?


Yes                                       41.26%

No                                        40.15%

Unsure/No Comment  18.59%





If yes, what area of our City would you prefer to see a Marijuana Dispensary?

East Grand (Biotech/ ‘Industrial’ area)    60.66%

Downtown                                                            45.36%

Other                                                                       25.68%





Would you be a customer if a Marijuana Dispensary was in SSF?

Yes                                    45.85%

No                                      46.21%

Unsure/No Comment  7.94%



Please share any other comments you may have


We need one in south city.


I would love to see this. Would love to be an employee!!


Most of the people who say no are pretty closed-minded. They will not even open their ears to the pros of marijuana itself, or even a dispensary. People obtain it anyway, it’s just making the inevitable easier. I don’t use marijuana often but I see nothing wrong with it, alcohol is more destructive.


Keep them out of South San Francisco please. San Francisco is seven miles away and there are plenty of home delivery services. I worked as a Police Officer for 27 years in S.F. and have only seen bad news associated with marijuana clubs. No Physician in his right mind would ever prescribe a medicine which is smoked.


Thanks for doing the survey.


This product damages the brain and has many other negative side effects. Ask the medical professionals and they will tell you.



If they will use the taxes on this, it could build our city stronger.


This is a key opportunity and window for ssf to capture revenue from a lucrative and safe business by servicing those on the Peninsula who have nowhere to go but very far


There Is Enough Crime Around So City without adding to it!!


I don’t like the smell of marijuana or even cigarette/tobacco smoke. What people do in their own homes is whatever but please don’t smoke it in residential or public areas. Smoke in your own place, please.


Do not bring dispensaries to ssf!


We need to get with the times. And it’s good business.


It’s the new era and we’ll be falling behind if we don’t start now!


Put one


I see the need for it medically, but for recreational use, I think it is down right dangerous. I see (and smell) so many people smoking weed and driving when we all know what drinking and driving do.


I understand that South San Francisco is an old-fashioned town with old-fashioned views but we should look towards the future like we are doing with the biotech industries. Many proven and viable scientific studies have said that it is not harmful if you don’t partake when you are young and dispensaries require you to have a card. A card that you have to see a doctor to get. And their product is safe. I don’t think the way to get children to stop using drugs (even legal ones) is to educate them about the effects, risks and benefits. Not just say it’s bad. Knowledge is power.


Should be accessible by public transit – so located wherever that would be best


Need to check ID. Also need security 24/7


I used medicinal Marijuana during my cancer treatment, and with post-treatment anxiety (recurrence of cancer is a constant fear), as needed. I only use in the comfort of my home and not having to go to SF to purchase would be helpful.


I hope people will look at this knowing that there is medical uses for marijuana and it does not lead to delinquency like most assume. There are resources to help teach people and I truly believe in the power of medical healing without prescription drugs


This would be an enormous step forward in the legalization of medical cannabis and as a lifelong citizen of South San Francisco it would make me proud to say that South City isn’t in the dark on the medical benefits of this wonderful plant.


The tax money collected will not compare to the damage caused to our population. More facts and studies needed that show the true damage marijuana causes.


There is absolutely no difference between pot and alcohol sales. It should be treated the same. It would be simpler to allow liquor stores to sell it. The infrastructure is already there.


Oversight will cost the City more money in the future than the marijuana tax money gonna collect. And not a good source of money to fund the college spending.


Substance abuse is an illness. Let’s not promote it in our society.






I vote YES for SSF Marijuana Dispensary!


The benefits far out weigh the risks.


Long over due.


Please refer to for the most recent studies on marijuana and its effects on the surrounding neighborhoods. Some naysayers say that it would increase crime and DUI rates, but all the recent studies prove the opposite is true; marijuana has a negative correlation with crime and DUI rates–i.e., there is lower crime and DUI rates in neighborhoods with MM presence.


People need it for medical reasons, not just to get high. Make it convenient for residents and those in neighboring cities that need it so they don’t have to go to SF.


SSF should benefit from taxing marijuana the way other cities do


Times are changing-if pot is going to be legalized then why not reap the benefits of it and I hope the higher ups of ssf read this survey-wake up and don’t blow this deal like you guys did with losing lucky chances to Colma good job fellas ????


I see very little downside.


Marijuana is becoming more and more accepted by society so the city should recognize this and do what it can to provide it in a safe and clean environment where people can feel comfortable getting it


I do not support this in any way.


A dispensary can work only if the City SERIOUSLY regulates it


Bad idea


Even if I was in pain and my doctor suggested Marijuana to ease the condition, I will still not use it. I do not feel Marijuana will solve any condition or do I feel it should be used for recreational purposes. And the smell makes me sick that I may throw up. So, if someone wants to smoke near me, they are forewarned I may throw up on them.




We have enough problems with alcohol related issues.


We need to live and let live.


Put one in Westborough! Parking sucks downtown

Stop hating on a natural plant!


I’m tired of aging baby boomers shilling their misinformation and poor logic against the cannabis industry. People shouldn’t have to suffer because they can’t be bothered to actually learn something.


There is no good reason not to have one!


As long as it is away from any elementary and middle schools, cool by me.


I don’t think Marijuana is all that it’s cracked up to be. My friend in Seattle commented that shortly after it became legalized there, she’s noticed an increase in traffic accidents. I used pot many years ago and looking back, I wished I hadn’t. I think it impaired my mind somehow. I don’t think it’s good for anybody, and I don’t believe it helps with pain management as many claim.


I would love a home delivery without a store front. Then the people who need it could get it without subjecting the rest of us to it unnecessarily. We have rights, too.


This is long overdue; alcohol is by far more dangerous a substance (violence, drunk driving) and its social acceptance is the only difference.


No matter where you approve such a dispensary the occupants of that area will be mad. I’m old enough to remember when doctors where on the front of magazines pushing tobacco–could this end up the same outcome?

We don’t need this in our city. We need to continue to have successful businesses and clean up the areas to attract better businesses


420 Blaze it


Please be smart and keep this trash out. Make money by collecting the business taxes from the biotech companies. Reduce pension promises.


I only support it if it helps patients with a medical condition who could benefit from it


It would generate great tax revenue for the city of SSF


The business must also have the proper security and work together with our local PD to avoid the marijuana getting into the wrong hands.


We have to many stoned people already!


Since it is legal finally take advantage & make some money for the city as long it is spent wisely.


Someday marijuana dispensaries will be as common as liquor stores. SSF should realize this & be progressive.


Hope they keep the dispensary out like they kept the gambling out of South San Francisco. We don’t need those problems


It is not good for you


Going to SF is not an easy option for many users.


It will be legal so it should be available to all who want without encumbrance.


Many problems come with medical marijuana dispensaries the abuse of customers purchasing medical-grade marijuana just to resell it out no accountability back to dispensaries


If this is being heavily looked into, I and many would greatly appreciate the revenue being added into South San Francisco as well as the consideration for people’s medical use, there are far more pro’s than cons as other dispensaries are greatly regulated.


We have a great location for a dispensary in the industrial E. Grand area. Nothing but revenue for our city. It’s backwards to treat marijuana as anything but a less dangerous drug than alcohol. I hope if a dispensary opens it offers a wide range of products besides just flower (edibles, concentrates, clones, seeds etc.) I hope its kept small and mom & pop business as much as possible. Use local growers and businesses. Thank you for doing this survey!


I hope if a dispensary were to open I would want it locally owned and operated.


Never here. . .


Both medicinal and recreation cannabis are already here. By permitting dispensaries in SSF, we would be able to capture some of that economic potential for ourselves rather than see it lost to neighboring areas (such as San Francisco) who have the dispensaries. Furthermore, by permitting dispensaries in SSF, it would work to improve access for those of us with medical needs, reducing the amount of effort and stress required to obtain our medication. Thanks for your attention!


This would be an embarrassing endeavor for our city. Do we really need the tax revenue from this? To follow will be more mayhem. Leave the dispensaries in SF, Berkeley.


The location is important= near a police dept would be ideal = to prevent gangs and robberies


I think a dispensary in SSF would be a great idea. Many people have no choice but to travel for their medicine.


East Grand would be perfect. Not residential, no schools. San Mateo closest in Pacifica, still a drive.


Bad idea. I will actively work against any SSF politician in favor of this.


There are not many options in the area to assist medical patients in this way. If the control and regulations can be met without impacting traffic or parking I see no reason why we can’t look into solutions for these people. I think it would complement the biopharm area by its sheer progressiveness.


I don’t have an issue with a dispensary in SSF, just like I did not have an issue with Luminous Day Spa


Marijuana is still illegal in the eyes of our government.




Pleases note our South San Francisco City Council voted 4-1 on   Ordinance # 1533-2017 that was adopted: April 12, 2017  and made effective immediately through January 23, 2018  (CLICK HERE for past council votes)


File Number: 17-191

City of South San Francisco

P.O. Box 711 (City Hall, 400 Grand Avenue) South San Francisco, CA

ORD 1533-2017


ORD 1533-2017
Enactment Number:


WHEREAS, on November 8, 2016, the voters of the State of California (“State”) enacted Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (the “AUMA”); and

WHEREAS, subject to certain exceptions, the AUMA generally establishes a comprehensive system to legalize, control, and regulate the cultivation, processing, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of recreational marijuana, including marijuana products, for use by adults 21 years and older, and to tax the commercial growth and retail sale of marijuana; and

WHEREAS, the AUMA permits a city to enact and enforce “reasonable regulations” to regulate the possession, planting, cultivation, harvesting, drying, or processing of marijuana plants, including the complete prohibition of such activities outdoors; and

WHEREAS, the AUMA creates a licensing system whereby the State will issue licenses to businesses authorizing them to cultivate, distribute, transport, store, manufacture, process, and sell recreational marijuana and marijuana products for adults 21 years of age and older, with such licenses to be issued by January 1, 2018; and

WHEREAS, the AUMA mandates that State licensing authorities shall not approve an application for a State license if approval of the State license will violate the provisions of any local ordinance or regulation adopted in accordance with the requirements of the AUMA; and

WHEREAS, the AUMA states that nothing in it shall be interpreted to supersede or limit the authority of a local jurisdiction to adopt and enforce local ordinances to regulate businesses licensed under the AUMA; and

WHEREAS, (1) the Federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. sections 801 et seq., classifies marijuana as a Schedule I Drug, which is defined as a drug or other substance that has a high potential for abuse, that has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and

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File Number: 17-191 Enactment Number: ORD 1533-2017

that has not been accepted as safe for use under medical supervision; and (2) the Federal Controlled Substances Act makes it unlawful, under federal law, for any person to cultivate, manufacture, distribute or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense marijuana; and

WHEREAS, in a series of memoranda issued in October 2009, June 2011, and August 2013 (the “Ogden” and “Cole” memos), the United States Department of Justice provided guidance to federal prosecutors concerning marijuana enforcement under the Controlled Substances Act and generally advised that it is not likely an efficient use of federal resources to prosecute those persons or entities in compliance with a strong and effective state regulatory system for the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has not sanctioned the cultivation, sale, or possession of recreational marijuana in any way; and

WHEREAS, significant concerns have been raised regarding the land use impacts that possession, planting, cultivation, harvesting, drying, processing, distributing, transporting, storing, manufacturing, and sale of marijuana (hereinafter “marijuana activity”) will have on public health, safety, and welfare in the City of South San Francisco (“City”), including the protection of environmental resources and neighborhood quality; and

WHEREAS, as recognized by the Attorney General’s August 2008 Guidelines for the Security and Non-Diversion of marijuana grown for medical use, the cultivation or other concentration of marijuana in any location or premises without adequate security increases the risk that surrounding homes or businesses may be negatively impacted by nuisance activity such as loitering or crime; and

WHEREAS, the City has a compelling interest in protecting the public health, safety, and welfare of its residents and businesses, and preserving the peace and integrity of neighborhoods within the City; and

WHEREAS, with respect to commercial medical marijuana activities, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MCRSA”) allows cities to enact local regulations pertaining to medical marijuana; and

WHEREAS, Chapter 20.410 “Prohibition on Medical Marijuana Cooperatives or Collectives” of the City of South San Francisco Municipal Code, among other things, presently prohibits such commercial medical marijuana activities, including, but not limited to, prohibitions on cultivation, distribution, storage, exchange, processing, and delivery; and

WHEREAS, the City has devoted considerable staff time and financial resources towards adopting specific plans and implementing development that is consistent with the City’s General Plan; and

WHEREAS, some jurisdictions that have permitted the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries have reported illegal activity, including robbery, burglary, homicide, and hand-to-hand transactions, at or near such medical marijuana dispensaries; and

WHEREAS, the City Council finds that the issuance of use permits, building permits, licenses, or other entitlements for any commercial marijuana activity and outdoor personal cultivation, would

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File Number: 17-191 Enactment Number: ORD 1533-2017

pose a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare, since such uses could potentially create conflicts with surrounding land uses, could conflict with the City’s long-term planning goals to be implemented through the City’s General Plan, Specific Plans, and Zoning Ordinance; and

WHEREAS, in light of recent legal developments, and in order to address community concerns regarding the establishment of commercial marijuana activity and outdoor personal cultivation, it is necessary for the City to study the impact such uses may have on the public health, safety and welfare, and potentially revise the City’s existing regulations or adopt new regulations; and

WHEREAS, to protect the City’s investment in its planning efforts, ensure that the City’s long-term planning goals and strategies can be achieved in an effective and timely manner, and to avoid a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare; and on January 25, 2017, the City adopted a 45-day moratorium on the issuance of use permits, building permits and all other applicable entitlements for recreational marijuana activity and on outdoor personal cultivation within the City’s boundaries; and

WHEREAS, the City’s 45-day moratorium is set to expire on March 11, 2017; and

WHEREAS, with respect to recreational marijuana activities authorized by AUMA, the City Council finds that it is necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare, specifically the City and the public’s interests in the City’s aesthetic, economic, health, safety and community character, until further staff review has been completed and any necessary local regulations or code revisions have been revised, adopted and otherwise made effective; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of the City will benefit from a comprehensive and thoughtful local regulatory scheme that addresses the potential impacts of indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation for personal use, as authorized by AUMA, by City residents; and

WHEREAS, there is an immediate need to prevent unregulated recreational marijuana grows in the City, which have the potential to affect the character and aesthetic of the community; and

WHEREAS, the City Council finds that without sufficient local regulations in place, issuing use permits, building permits, or other entitlements for commercial marijuana activity and outdoor cultivation of marijuana on the grounds of a private residence within the City would pose a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety, or welfare, since such uses could potentially conflict with the City’s long-term planning goals and the development of the City; and

WHEREAS, the California Constitution, Article XI, section 7, provides cities with the authority to enact ordinances to protect the health, safety, welfare and morals of their citizens, and adoption of zoning regulations are a permissible exercise of this authority; and

WHEREAS, an extension of the City’s interim urgency ordinance is also necessary to prevent potential grandfathering of recreational outdoor marijuana cultivation upon the grounds of private residences while further staff review is underway; and

WHEREAS, extending the local moratorium on commercial marijuana activity, to the full extent

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allowed under the law, is necessary to allow the City the opportunity to study the various policy implications of authorizing recreational marijuana activity in the City and to develop a comprehensive approach to regulate marijuana-related activities authorized by AUMA; and

WHEREAS, this extension of the interim urgency ordinance is necessary in that there remains a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare from unregulated marijuana activity; and

WHEREAS, Government Code section 65858 authorizes the City Council to adopt, as an urgency measure, an interim ordinance effective immediately upon a four-fifths vote of the City Council, to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, prohibiting any uses that may be in conflict with a contemplated general plan, specific plan, or zoning proposal that the legislative body, Planning Commission or the Planning Department is considering or studying or intends to study within a reasonable time; and

WHEREAS, on January 25, 2017, at a duly noticed regular meeting, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1530-2017, establishing a temporary moratorium on the issuance of use permits, building permits and all other applicable entitlements for commercial marijuana activity and on outdoor personal cultivation within the City’s boundaries for a period of forty-five (45) days; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Government Code section 65858, subdivision (a), and following notice and public hearing pursuant to Government Code section 65090, the City Council, by a four-fifths vote, may extend the interim ordinance for an additional period of ten (10) months and fifteen (15) days, unless further extended pursuant to Government Code section 65858; and

WHEREAS, on March 8, 2017, at a regular meeting, the City Council held a public hearing, following notice thereof in accordance with California Government Code section 65090, and heard and considered public comment, oral and written, on the proposed extension of the temporary moratorium; and

WHEREAS, the City Council reiterates the findings supporting Ordinance No. 1530-2017 and finds that it remains necessary to consider, study and/or adopt regulations governing, or the prohibition of, the issuance of use permits, building permits and all other applicable entitlements for commercial marijuana activity and for outdoor personal cultivation within the City’s boundaries; that the immediate commencement of the issuance of use permits, building permits and other entitlements for commercial marijuana activity and outdoor personal cultivation within the City would render potential regulations or prohibition ineffective and destroy the purpose of engaging in such analysis and process, thus constituting an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City; and that, therefore, the extension of the temporary moratorium on the issuance of use permits, building permits and all other applicable entitlements for commercial marijuana activity and on outdoor personal cultivation within the City’s boundaries is necessary; and

WHEREAS, this ordinance does not require review under the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code §§ 21000 et seq., “CEQA”) based on the following:

(1) Under CEQA Guidelines Section 15060(c)(2), the activity will not result in a direct or reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment, and

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under CEQA Guidelines Section 15060(c)(3), the activity is not a project as defined in Section 15378 of the CEQA Guidelines because it has no potential for resulting in physical change to the environment, directly or indirectly.

(2) Even assuming the adoption of the ordinance was a project, it is categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to Section 15308 of the CEQA Guidelines as a regulatory action taken by the City pursuant to its police power and in accordance with Government Code section 65858 to assure maintenance and protection of the environment pending the evaluation and adoption of contemplated local legislation, regulation, and policies.

NOW THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of South San Francisco does hereby ORDAIN as follows, adopted as an extension to an interim ordinance, under the provisions of California Government Code section 65858:

Section 1. Incorporation of Recitals.

The above recitals are hereby declared to be true and correct and represent the findings of the City Council of the City of South San Francisco, made in the exercise of its independent judgment. Said Findings are hereby incorporated by reference and made a part of the interim urgency ordinance (“Ordinance”).

Section 2. Definitions.

For the purposes of this Ordinance, the following definitions shall apply:

  1. (1)  The term “marijuana” shall mean all items included in Health and Safety Code Sections 11018 and 11018.1.
  2. (2)  The term “indoor cultivation” shall mean cultivation inside a fully enclosed private residence as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 11362.2(b)(2).
  3. (3)  The term “outdoor cultivation” shall mean any cultivation that is not defined as indoor cultivation as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 11362.2(b)(2).Section 3. Moratorium Extended.In accordance with the authority granted to the City of South San Francisco under Article XI, section 7 of the California Constitution and California Government Code section 65858, from and after the date of this Ordinance, the existing temporary moratorium is hereby extended for an additional ten (10) months and fifteen (15) days as of March 8, 2017, and no use permit, building permit, license, or other applicable entitlement shall be approved for the following:
  1. (1)  Any commercial or industrial marijuana activity, which includes but is not limited to the following uses involving marijuana: manufacturing; processing; laboratory testing; labeling; storing; wholesale; distribution; and retail is prohibited in every zoning district within the City. This moratorium shall include any commercial or industrial marijuana uses authorized under either the AUMA or the MCRSA.
  2. (2)  Outdoor cultivation for personal use, including harvesting, drying, or processing of marijuana plants for

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mar recreational use, is prohibited in every zoning district within the City. Indoor planting, cultivation, harvesting, drying, or processing of marijuana plants for recreational use is limited to residential districts, is limited to six (6) plants per residence, and must be entirely for the personal use of a resident of the residence who is twenty-one (21) years of age or older. The City reserves the right to enact regulations regarding the indoor cultivation of marijuana at a later date.

This Ordinance does not affect the rights of individuals as established by State law to possess or use medical marijuana subject to a valid doctor’s recommendation. Unless further extended, this moratorium will last for a period of ten (10) months and fifteen (15) days from the adoption of this Ordinance to allow the City an opportunity to further consider options and legal authority to enact land use controls regulating recreational marijuana activity in a manner consistent with the newly-enacted State law.

Section 4. Authority; Urgency Statement.

This Ordinance is an extension of an interim ordinance, adopted as an urgency measure pursuant to Government Code section 65858, and is for the immediate and long-term preservation of the public safety, health, and welfare. The City Council of the City of South San Francisco hereby finds that there is a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare that warrants the extension of the temporary moratorium on commercial marijuana activity and outdoor personal cultivation as described in this Ordinance. The following facts support this urgency measure: Establishing commercial marijuana activity in the City, before the City has an opportunity to update its regulations in accordance with the recent developments in the law, could lead to conflicts amongst various land uses, conflict with the City’s long-term planning goals, and a potential increase in nuisance and criminal activity within the City, as well as create a deleterious effect on residents’ quality of life. Accordingly, the City Council of the City of South San Francisco hereby finds that the approval of use permits, variances, building permits, licenses, or any other applicable entitlement for commercial marijuana activity and outdoor personal cultivation would result in that threat to public health, safety, or welfare. These findings are based upon all of the facts recited in this Ordinance, in the staff report to the City Council accompanying this Ordinance, all matters and information presented to this City Council at its meetings on January 11 and January 25, 2017, and all additional matters and information presented to this City Council at its meeting on March 8, 2017.

Section 5. Issuance of Land Use Entitlements in Violation of this Moratorium Declared Public Nuisance.
The issuance of use permits, building permits, licenses, or other applicable entitlements for marijuana activity and outdoor personal cultivation in the City as defined in this Ordinance, during the duration of this moratorium or any extension thereof, is declared to be a public nuisance. Violations of this Ordinance may be enforced by any applicable laws or ordinances, including but not limited to injunctions or administrative or criminal penalties, under the South San Francisco Municipal Code.

Section 6. Severability.

If any provision of this Ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Ordinance, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby, and shall continue in full force and effect. To

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this end, provisions of this Ordinance and the original interim urgency ordinance are severable. The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed each section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase hereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses, or phrases be held unconstitutional, invalid, or unenforceable.

Section 7. Effective Date.

This Ordinance and moratorium shall take effect immediately upon adoption, if adopted by at least four-fifths vote of the City Council, and shall be in full force and effect for ten (10) months and fifteen (15) days from the date of its adoption by the City Council, unless further extended by the City Council, as provided for in Government Code section 65858.


At a meeting of the City Council on 3/8/2017, a motion was made by Richard Garbarino, seconded by Liza Normandy, that this Ordinance be adopted. The motion passed.

Yes: 4 Absent: 1

Vice Mayor Normandy, Councilmember Garbarino, Councilmember Matsumoto, and Mayor Gupta

Councilmember Addiego

City of South San Francisco

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1 comment for “South City Cannabis Dispensary Survey Results

  1. Brendon Rios
    May 8, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    I can’t wait for a dispensary to open in ssf. Will save time and money. Will bring more money into the city and lots of it. It will not bring any criminal element along with it. 🙂 I fully support!

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