SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX5) — Californians voted yes, but now the feds are saying no to marijuana.
There is now a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the state’s recreational marijuana business, Even as San Francisco cannabis clubs get ready to cash in.
Outside Shambhala Medical Cannabis Collective in San Francisco’s Mission District there’s a sign that reads “We will be going recreational on Saturday 1/6/18”
That’s the first day it will become legal to sell recreational marijuana in San Francisco.
“We’re hoping to get permitted by San Francisco and California. We’re still waiting and I assume all the clubs in San Francisco are still waiting,” said Al Shawa, the owner of Shambhala MCC.
Shawa is hopeful the approval will come through in the next 24 hours. He’s already nearly doubled his staff to 16 workers in anticipation.
And customers like Hamza Saleh, who just moved to San Francisco, say they’re ready to get in line.
Saleh said, “Normally I would like either, have someone that has a card get it for me, or get it from street dealers, so this is going to be easier for me. It’s going to be easier and at least I’m not going to be risking myself getting it from a street dealer.”
But on Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a marijuana enforcement memo rescinding the Obama Administration’s policy which allowed states to legalize marijuana without federal intervention.
The memo allows federal prosecutors to be more tough on marijuana cases.
In response, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsrom tweeted Sessions is “ignoring facts and logic” and that California “will pursue all options to protect our reforms and rights.”
Shawa said, “I think it’s a waste of time, it’s jsut Trump trying to get back at Californians, and so is Jeff Sessions. And I don’t think that’s fair. People voted, people want it.”
Enthusiasm for the new law can be found throughout the city. Trendy Mexican restaurant Tacolicious is advertising ticketed special Dungeness crab dinner paired with cannabis cocktails at two of its San Francisco locations.
The drinks are infused with CBD – a cannabis compound generally known to be non-psychoactive.
Tacolicious Manager Jared Crabtree said, “We’re in San Francisco, which is a progressive leaning city, we thought we’d partner with some of our vendors that we’ve been close to and create a special event.”
The California Attorney General rejected Sessions’ decision and said the state will vigorously enforce its laws and protect the state’s interests.