1609(B)(24) Virtual Community Outreach and Neighborhood Notice – Temporary Regulation

Background

In response to the COVID-19, the Stay Home Order, stakeholder feedback, and best practices around social and physical distancing, the Office of Cannabis (OOC) is adopting this temporary regulation to require Applicants to conduct any Community Outreach meetings as Virtual Community Meetings (defined below) between now and December 31, 2020.  The end date of this temporary regulation is subject to extension at the discretion of the OOC director.  For the duration of this temporary regulation, this temporary regulation replaces the regulation titled “1609(b)(24) Community Outreach” available here

Applicants may not conduct a Virtual Community Meeting without advance approval from OOC. 

Definitions

“Neighbors” means property owners and tenants within 300 feet of the proposed Cannabis Business Permit premises.

“Virtual Community Meeting” means a community meeting carried out or accessed by means of a computer, especially over a network.

Other capitalized terms have the definitions set forth in Police Code Article 16. 

Mandatory Requirements for Community Outreach Strategy and Neighborhood Notice

  1. Cannabis Business Permit Applicant’s Community Outreach Strategy, as defined in Police Code Section 1609(b)(23), must, at a minimum, include the following strategies:
    1. Applicants must hold a minimum of one noticed community meeting with Neighbors to seek input on the Applicant’s Good Neighbor Policy.
      1. Weeknight meetings shall occur between 6:00pm – 9:00pm PST.
      2. Weekend meetings shall occur between 10:00am – 9:00pm PST.

 

  1. For the duration of this temporary regulation, the required community meeting must be conducted as a Virtual Community Meeting. 

 

  1. Prior to holding the Virtual Community Meeting, an Applicant must provide OOC with a proposed Community Outreach Strategy for OOC’s review, and must receive approval from OOC to move forward with the Virtual Community Meeting.

 

  1. After an Applicant has received approval from the OOC to move forward with a Virtual Community Meeting, and Applicant must provide notice to Neighbors a minimum of seven (7) calendar days ahead of the proposed Virtual Community Meeting.  The Applicant must provide a notice to all Neighbors in hard copy, either by mail, or by affixing copies to the outside doors of individual units.  A list of Neighbors and their addresses may be secured either by a private party or the San Francisco Office of the Assessor Recorder.  Notice must include all of the following:
    1. The date and time of the Virtual Community Meeting.
    2. Detailed instructions for accessing the Virtual Community Meeting, including a means of accessing the Virtual Community Meeting by phone, through a smartphone application, and from a web browser.
    3. Information about how Neighbors can make comments and ask questions during the meeting.
    4. Alternative ways Neighbors may provide input if a Neighbor is unable to attend the Applicant’s Virtual Community Meeting. This must include a method for Neighbors to convey input in writing to the Applicant in advance of the Virtual Community Meeting. Neighbors may request that the Applicant address their written input during the Virtual Community Meeting. If such a request is made, then the Applicant shall address the written input during the Virtual Community Meeting.
    5. The name, phone number, and email address of the community relations staff person who may be contacted by Neighbors.

 

  1. All materials and notices developed and distributed to Neighbors by the Applicant as a part of its Community Outreach Strategy must be translated into the languages required by the Language Access Ordinance, Administrative Code Chapter 91.  For calendar year 2020, these languages include: English, Spanish, Tagalog, and traditional Chinese.

 

  1. The Applicant shall conduct the Virtual Community Meeting through a platform that meets all of the following requirements:
    1. The Applicant should take all necessary steps to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  
    2. Options for video and audio access through a mobile phone app or web browser and an option to call into the meeting from a telephone extension.
    3. An option that allows Neighbors to indicate to the host that they would like to make a comment or ask a question.
    4. Screen sharing and chat functions.
    5. Visual roster of attendees.
    6. Host/Co-Host can be assigned to oversee the meeting.
    7. Host/Co-Host can mute and unmute participants.
    8. With the exception of holding an-in person meeting, the Applicant shall comply with all other Good Neighbor Policy Requirements

 

  1. The Applicant shall share the final date, time, and access information for the Virtual Community Meeting with the Office of Cannabis and the office of the district Supervisor not less than 72 hours prior to the start time of the meeting.

 

Mandatory Cannabis Business Permit Application Submissions

  1. The Applicant must attest that the Applicant has engaged in a Community Outreach Strategy to advise Neighbors of its intent to apply for a Cannabis Business Permit, and to solicit input on the Applicant Entity’s Good Neighbor Policy.

 

  1. The Applicant must provide to the Office of Cannabis all material documents demonstrating that the required outreach was performed, including, but not limited to:
    1. Written notice provided to Neighbors informing them of the Applicant’s intent to open a Cannabis Business.
    2. List of attendees from the Virtual Community Meeting.
    3. Virtual Community Meeting minutes.
    4. Copies of supporting meeting materials provided to Neighbors.
    5. The list of Neighbors to whom the Virtual Community Meeting notice was provided, including names and addresses.
    6. The name, phone number, and email address of the community relations staff person.
    7. The Good Neighbor Policy

 

Updated: September 17, 2020

 

Comment period start date
Comment period end date
Sharing your comments with the Office of Cannabis
Any person may submit written comments or arguments relevant to the proposed rules during the comment period. If you have questions or want to submit written comments or arguments, email officeofcannabis@sfgov.org.

In addition to submitting by email, written comments may be submitted by U.S. mail or in person to:

Office of Cannabis
San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl. Room 018
San Francisco
CA 94102-4685

Office hours
1:00 - 5:00pm
Monday to Friday