CANNABIS ACCESS IS AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE

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CANNABIS ACCESS IS AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE

This petition made change with 2,085 supporters!
Bay Area Americans for Safe Access started this petition to Mayor of San Francisco London Breed and

Hon. Mayor London Breed City Hall, Room 200 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place San Francisco, CA 94102 

Re: San Francisco, access to cannabis is an essential service 

Dear Mayor Breed: 

The Bay Area Chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), along with a coalition of SF cannabis businesses and organizations, are concerned that safe access to cannabis is being restricted in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many San Francisco residents seek and depend on cannabis as an alternative medicine for the relief of various illnesses and symptoms. Cannabis retailers should be considered essential businesses during this crisis. 

During your announcement regarding the “Shelter in Place” order, residents were asked to remain calm and were assured there was no urgency in making necessary purchases since critical businesses would continue to service the public. The decision to close all cannabis sales in San Francisco has led to confusion, long lines, and a backlog of delivery orders, which defeats the purpose of the City’s lock-down. Santa Cruz, Alameda, Berkley, and other neighboring governments have continued to allow access via storefront cannabis retailers and delivery services during this crisis while following social distancing and hygiene protocols. Why should San Francisco take a different approach? 

Shuttering safe access points for tested cannabis is misguided in light of the City’s public health crisis. Ceasing access to legal cannabis retailers and delivery services will drive patients and consumers to the illicit market, where health and safety protocols are completely unsafe and unregulated. At this time, it is imperative we take the health and wellness of our community as top priority. 

Access must be available to all adult San Franciscans during this time. The City must bear in mind that many bona fide medical cannabis patients suffering from symptoms of cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, and other serious conditions increasingly rely on cannabis without the benefit of a doctor’s letter of recommendation or a state-issued medical cannabis identification card. In light of Proposition 64 and the Medicinal and Adult-Use Safety and Regulation Act, it is impossible to differentiate legitimate medical cannabis users from adult-use consumers in the retail environment. Restricting the “non-essential” adult- use retail function will invariably affect this growing population of legitimate medical cannabis patients in San Francisco. 

In OSHA's Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, businesses are listed in four risk tiers (low, medium, high, and very high). Cannabis businesses that do not provide public access, such as delivery services, are considered low risk. Storefront cannabis retailers are considered medium risk, as they allow for the general public to enter the facility. However, medium risk businesses in many other industries have been permitted to continue servicing customers while taking the necessary health and safety precautions set forth by the CDC. Licensed cannabis businesses should be treated in the same way. 

ASA and its stakeholders recommend that the City of San Francisco put the following measures into place immediately to ensure that patients are protected: 

• Ensure that cannabis businesses are considered “essential businesses.” 

• Instruct cannabis businesses to make temporary changes to their business plans, including delivery and purchase limits, to accommodate patients and staff during this crisis. 

• Provide tax relief to patients and cannabis businesses. 

• Allow cultivation and processing centers to remain open to ensure proper inventory can be available. 

• Extend the expiration date of state-issued cannabis identification cards so that doctors and other health care providers can focus on COVID-19. 

• Permit authorized caregivers to serve additional patients during this crisis period. 

• Allow telehealth visits for new and renewing medical cannabis patients. 

• Allow licensed retailers to facilitate cannabis delivery, allow storefront retailers to provide “curbside pick-up,” and allow for all M-licensed dispensaries with medical staff and social services to stay open. 

We urge you to reconsider this unsafe ban on licensed cannabis businesses. 

American Cannabis Nurses Association

Apothecarium

Meadow

Cannabis Distributors Alliance

Original Equity Group

Sava

NORCAL Cannabis Company

Kulture

Mirage Medicinal

Gold Seal

EAZE

Weed 4 Warriors

San Francisco Cannabis Retail Alliance

Brownie Mary Democratic Club SF

Society Jane

SF Roots

Poshgreen Retail

Weedmaps

Big Rock Partners

Berner's on Haight

 

 

 

 

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This petition made change with 2,085 supporters!

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