BREAKING: San Francisco Suspends Medical Marijuana Licensing Program Indefinitely

San Francisco city officials indefinitely suspended the city's medical marijuana dispensary permitting program on Wednesday, according to the Department of Public Health.

Pending permits had been on hold since December, after a ruling in a state appeals court case halted similar permitting programs across California. That case was appealed to the state Supreme Court, and during the appeal, the city could resume processing permits, a spokesman for the City Attorney told SF Weekly last week.

But the city reversed its decision today. All medical cannabis dispensary permit applications are on hold indefinitely, according to Jim Soos, an assistant director of policy and planning with the S.F. Department of Public Health, until the city can “receive assurance that it is in compliance with state and federal law.”

DPH staff made the decision to put all permits on hold in consultation with the City Attorney's Office, which provides legal advice to all city departments, he said.

“We're waiting for more clarity from the state on our ability to issue permits,” said Soos, who added that the federal Department of Justice's recent closure of five permitted dispensaries also weighed on the city's decision. “Until the Health Department can sort out the criteria driving the [Justice Department]'s actions, it will not be issuing permits.”

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