Justice Department Closes Two More S.F. Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

The number of medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco will dip to a nearly 10-year low on Aug. 1, when two more permitted pot clubs will close under pressure from the federal Justice Department.

Vapor Room, located on Haight Street, and HopeNet, on Ninth Street, will both cease operations at the end of the business day on July 31, representatives from both dispensaries told SF Weekly.

Landlords of both dispensaries received letters from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag in April, where she warned of property seizures or decades-long prison terms if the dispensaries were not shuttered.

The closures will mark the seventh and eighth storefront dispensaries shut down by Haag in under a year, which means San Francisco will have fewer than 20 licensed dispensaries for the first time in nearly a decade.

A year ago, there were 26 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries operating in San Francisco. Haag’s office has shut down six to date. A seventh pot club was put out of commission by a house fire. 

It’s not entirely certain when the last time there were fewer than 20 dispensaries in San Francisco, but it has been at least eight years, if not longer. One new dispensary has opened, and several more have permits, but have not begun operation.

San Francisco began licensing and regulating medical cannabis dispensaries in 2005, nine years after California voters approved medical marijuana via the Compassionate Use Act. The state legislature approved storefront collectives in a 2003 bill. 

– Read the entire article at The Village Voice.