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Cannabis events coming to the Bay

“The city has been permitting large and small events for decades, and this ordinance will allow us to build on our existing robust event permitting framework to bring events that would otherwise feature an illegal cannabis component into a regulated space,” Mandelman said in a statement. “This will help to prevent the illegal sales and consumption of untested cannabis products, occurrences that, in the past, have put attendees’ lives in danger.”

The proposal would implement Assembly Bill 2020, which went into effect on Jan. 1 and allows cities throughout California to issue cannabis permits for temporary events. Events would need both a state license and a local license.

Initially, cannabis event permits will only go to events that have previously been held on a regular basis, have received a City-issued permit and have had significant amounts of unregulated cannabis. Those criteria could remain in place until December 31, 2021, before the permits become available to all events.

The 420 event meets these criteria, since it was city-permitted last year for such things as amplified sound and fencing.

“In the era of cannabis legalization, we need to ensure that cannabis events, like all events in San Francisco, are safe for attendees and don’t negatively impact our neighborhoods,” Brown said in a statement. She said that it would “protect the health and welfare of both event goers and our neighborhoods.”

The local permit would be issued by the Office of Cannabis director Nicole Elliott and would require approval by the city agency with oversight of the area where the event takes place, such as the Recreation and Park Department for events in public parks.

“In light of the amount of unregulated cannabis event activity occurring in our City now, I am encouraged that the Board is interested in seeing the sales and consumption of cannabis at events be regulated,” Elliott told the San Francisco Examiner in an email. “The lack of existing regulation around events is to the detriment of our common goals; decriminalization, public safety, consumer safety and preventing youth access.”

There are expected challenges associated with existing laws. Smoking isn’t allowed in public parks and state law doesn’t allow cannabis consumption where smoking is prohibited. Also, state law doesn’t allow alcohol and cannabis to be sold and consumed in the same space.