The San Francisco Cannabis Retailers Alliance (SFCRA) came together in Fall 2017, when the new San Francisco cannabis ordinance was being finalized at the Board of Supervisors.
There wasn’t any organization on the retail side of cannabis to advocate for fair and balanced policy for existing dispensary operators and pipeline dispensary applicants not yet approved to operate by the city of San Francisco. The core of our organization is comprised of highly respected dispensary operators. Some of our members already have a dispensary up and running, others are “pipeline” dispensary applicants working diligently to open a small business in San Francisco. Our group currently maintains a balanced blend of existing retailers and pipeline applicants.
We also have several members that are not cannabis retailers but provide supporting services within the cannabis industry. They are insurance agencies, law firms, and other supporting service providers. They are professionals that see the value of our alliance and want to contribute to the advocacy work we’re doing to an ensure ethical and fair playing field for cannabis businesses in San Francisco. Our trade group also provides an opportunity to network with cannabis retailers in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
SFCRA tracks cannabis legislation at both the City and State levels, with a focus on San Francisco based concerns.
We also strive to correct uninformed perceptions facing our industry, such as issues regarding overly burdensome regulations and taxation as well as highlighting the fact that contrary to common opinion, most dispensaries are small businesses struggling to survive amidst slim profit margins and a landscape of regulation changes and adjustments. Cannabis businesses face a variety hurdles: an expensive and complicated regulatory process, an unfair tax burden on the federal side due to IRS code 280E, and predatory business practices from unscrupulous service providers. Due to the largely unregulated history of cannabis industry in years past, our members were forced to stay in the shadows with little advocacy efforts on their behalf. The SFCRA is here now, to push for positive, effective changes in the new cannabis marketplace.
We must hold our ground and challenge other businesses to treat us like regular businesses, especially in areas related to banking, financing, taxes, and, legal issues.
Our alliance is focused on normalizing cannabis and getting people accustomed to cannabis retailers as legitimate businesses within their communities. Although we’re a new industry, many of us have been here for decades. Let’s work together in a spirit of pro business collaboration!