San Diego Cannabis Dispensaries Face Greater Scrutiny From New Bureau

It will be a significant shift for the city

San Diego is creating a new Cannabis Permitting Bureau to step up enforcement of city regulations and potentially revoke permits of dispensaries and production facilities that repeatedly violate the rules.

The bureau, with a nearly $1 million annual budget and nine full-time employees, will also centralize the permit approval and renewal process for the city’s cannabis businesses as the industry continues to steadily expand.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the first wave of permitted cannabis production facilities has begun to open and more permitted dispensaries are beginning operations across the city.

Business boomed at San Diego dispensaries when they were declared essential operations during the early days of the pandemic lockdown, but industry leaders say sales have waned since then.

A key factor has been that many customers shifted away from in-store purchases toward deliveries, where permitted dispensaries face sharp competition from the region’s cannabis black market.

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