Pretty soon it could have two medical marijuana dispensaries, as well.
In a trend that is fueling land-use fights in neighborhoods across the city, working-class Visitacion Valley has become the latest focus for cannabis entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of the so-called “green rush” that gained momentum after California voters last year approved Proposition 64, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
While the city has set a Sept. 1 deadline to determine how recreational cannabis will be regulated, many investors are betting those regulations will include a mechanism to convert medical pot shops into recreational outlets.
In January, the Planning Commission approved a dispensary in the commercial corridor at 2442 Bayshore Blvd., despite a large number of residents speaking out against it. On Thursday, the commission will decide the fate of a second cannabis outlet at 5 Leland Ave., just 259 feet away and around the corner from the first.
The possible pairing of two dispensaries at the gateway to a low-income, largely immigrant community has prompted significant neighborhood opposition. Visitacion Valley residents say the dispensaries will take prime real estate at the entrance to the neighborhood’s small retail district and will be incompatible with several youth-serving organizations nearby.
Marlene Tran, a retired public school teacher and neighborhood activist who has lived in Visitacion Valley since 1980, said, “What the neighborhood needs is opportunities for our youth and businesses that benefit our youth.” That the 5 Leland Ave. project would occupy two retail storefronts — a former 99-cent store and convenience store — is a waste of prime space, she said.
“We have a lot of needs in this community — maybe a clothing store, a bookstore, stores for children, sporting goods,” she said. “Things that we can all patronize. Having a mini-mall (medical cannabis dispensary) at the entrance to our commercial district will not benefit most people.”
San Francisco now has 36 such dispensaries, a number that is set to skyrocket: The Planning Department…