In this Nov. 21, 2017 file photo, demonstrators march in opposition to the sales of marijuana in San Francisco. (Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press file)

San Francisco finalizes regs for recreational marijuana, but not in time for Jan. 1 sales debut

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco is another step closer to allowing recreational marijuana sales to start in January after city leaders approved regulations in a mandatory second vote Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Mayor Ed Lee signed the rules that retailers and growers need to get state permits.

The regulations were surprisingly tough for San Francisco to settle on, so the city will not be ready for recreational cannabis sales on New Year’s Day when adults can legally use it throughout California.

Members of the Chinese immigrant community opposed to recreational marijuana use had packed public meetings and called for stricter limits on where to place pot shops.

The legislation will take effect 30 days after the mayor signed it, so recreational marijuana sales could start Jan. 6.

San Francisco already has more than 40 authorized medical marijuana outlets that could start selling in 2018, though those businesses will still require state permits.

Lori Ajax, the state’s top marijuana regulator, has said she doesn’t know how many growers or retailers will apply for licenses but that California will be ready to issue temporary licenses on New Year’s Day.

California voters approved legal recreational pot last year.