The Great Dispensary Freeze of 2012

San Francisco, the hotbed of marijuana law reform, has frozen medical cannabis dispensary permitting this winter as the City — and dozens of others across the state — nervously await a decision by the California Supreme Court on the very legality of such permits.

Nine groups that are seeking permits to open new San Francisco clubs — mostly in the Mission — have been caught in limbo, the Department of Public Health told Legalization Nation. San Francisco currently has 26 permitted dispensaries. However, an October decision by California’s Second District Court of Appeals, in the case of Pack v. Superior Court, states that local regulations — such as permits and fees — are preempted by federal drug law.

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