On Tuesday, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to ban dispensaries in the city’s historic Chinatown district. The vote changes the city’s planning code to prohibit both medical and recreational dispensaries from doing business in the neighborhood. San Francisco Supervisors say they made the move in an effort to protect Chinatown’s long-time residents and businesses from displacement. But critics of the change contend that the threat of gentrification, concerns over which led to the vote, is overstated.
SF Bans Weed Shops To Stop Gentrification in Chinatown
Centered on Grant Avenue and Stockton Street and spanning just fifteen city blocks, San Francisco’s Chinatown District is the oldest Chinatown in North America. It’s also the largest Chinese enclave outside Asia. The neighborhood has an abiding sense of cultural tradition and identity, retaining languages, religious and social customs from the diaspora.
More than just a tourist attraction, of course, Chinatown in San Francisco is home to multi-generation Chinese immigrant families and many Chinese-owned and operated businesses. And amid rapid increases in housing prices in San Francisco, already America’s priciest city to live in, Chinatown has managed to keep rents low.
But while municipalities across California are going all in on the state’s