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Pot task force looks to be leader in regulations

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San Francisco could continue to forge the way in regulating the marijuana industry with the help of a newly established task force.

The membership of a new medical marijuana task force was selected Thursday by the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee. The 13 members are charged with advising the board on taxing marijuana, changes to the process of opening up a medical marijuana club in San Francisco and rules around cultivation in residential buildings. The use and distribution of medical marijuana is legal under state and city law, but illegal under federal law.

“We are living in a transitional period in terms of how the issue of cannabis is being looked at and addressed, not only at the local level but also at the state and federal,” said Supervisor David Campos, who had introduced the legislation that created the task force. “And we in San Francisco certainly have to make sure that as we navigate this transitional period that we get the best guidance and advice possible.”

The selected members require approval by the full board. The members include community organizers, medical marijuana providers and patients who use marijuana.

San Francisco was the first city to adopt regulations of marijuana clubs and could continue to act as a model in the field. “People are watching San Francisco; people are watching what we do,” Campos said.

Regulations were first imposed on San Francisco marijuana clubs in 2005, and they limited what areas new clubs could open and operate in and set up a city permitting process. Rules include being 1,000 feet away from schools and recreational centers. There are currently 23 permitted dispensaries in The City.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com