Known as one the most socially progressive, tech-savvy, and pot-friendly places in the United States, San Francisco has been a hotbed for gentrification for over a decade. With the cannabis industry swiftly taking root across the Bay Area, some low-income communities are worried that their neighborhoods will be overrun with dispensaries and other marijuana businesses.
This concern has become a reality for the residents of Visitacion Valley, a working-class community in San Francisco that is largely comprised of immigrants. The city is currently trying to determine how recreational legalization will be regulated by September 1, and many entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry are racing to open medical dispensaries in order to get first dibs at the retail market.
The so-called “green rush” has already hit Leland Avenue, a small commercial street in Viz Valley. Soon, there may be two medical marijuana shops on the block. One of the two dispensaries was approved by the Planning Commission back in January, while the fate of the second will be decided this week. If approved, the two cannabis shops will be just 259 feet away from one another.
A significant number…