San Jose City Council Approves Pot Club Limits

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The San Jose City Council on Tuesday approved ordinances that will limit the number of medical marijuana collectives to 10 in limited commercial and industrial areas as part of final steps toward regulation in a nearly two year-long process.

The 8-3 council vote was based on staff recommendations that also called for implementing a first come, first served registration process and restriction of marijuana cultivation to on-site only.

Councilmen Ash Kalra, Don Rocha, and Xavier Campos were opposed.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

The action left a number of marijuana activists shaking their head in disappointment.

Lauren Vazquez, a civil rights attorney and co-founder of the Silicon Valley chapter of Americans for Safe Access, a national medical marijuana advocacy organization, said the ordinances are too restrictive and limits access for patients.

“It’s obvious the city is unwilling to put the time and energy to get something like this done,” She said, adding that limiting the number of collectives to 10 for a city the size of San Jose is “unreasonable.”

The council’s action may not have pleased everyone, but it was significant in pushing the issue closer to regulation.

“We’re dealing with a fairly complex topic,” Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio acknowledged.

He said while the proposed ordinances are not perfect, they do pave the way for regulation and allow for future amendments.

Medical marijuana facilities are not currently allowed to operate in San Jose and those that have opened in recent years are doing so illegally and would not be grandfathered in under the ordinances, according to the mayor’s office.

Components of the ordinances include a limitation on the number of collectives to no more than two per district and restricting the collectives from operating in sensitive retail areas, such as ground floors of shopping centers.

The council also approved a recommendation by Oliverio to assign a licensed physician or registered nurse to each collective.

Though the council generally agreed on limiting the number of collectives to 10, they were divided on the on-site, off-site issue.

Councilman Ash Kalra spoke in favor of a merit-based selection process and allowing collective operators to grow marijuana off-site. Councilman Sam Liccardo said establishing a criteria for such a process would be difficult.

He said limiting cultivation to on-site would be more manageable.

“Having a problem we can see and understand is always advantageous,” Liccardo said.

Many of those concerns were voiced by activists during the public testimony. They said decentralized cultivation would lead to Costco-sized collectives.

“I think you can do better and I think we deserve more,” Vazquez told the council.

Following the council vote, Vazquez passed around a sheet to gather signatures from activists. She said she and others would challenge the action via lawsuits or a referendum process.

The matter is tentatively planned to return to the council for a second reading on Sept. 27. If all goes according to plan, the ordinance would go into effect a month later and the 10 collectives would be registered in December or January.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Upstanding Citizen

    who were the council members that approved this bill so i can’t not vote for them next time!!

  • Storm Crow

    Will pharmacies be required to manufacture all of their drugs in the pharmacy, next? Grocery store required to grow their own produce and meat on site? This ordinance makes just as much sense as that! To grow cannabis indoors on a dispensary-sized scale, you need a warehouse! That San Jose’s city councilmen lack the brains to “understand” a situation where site “A” produces a product and site “B” sells, does not bode well for San Jose’s future! How dumb can you get and still be in office? San Jose has found the answer! For the medical facts about cannabis, run a search for “Granny Storm Crow’s MMJ Reference List” and see what they are “protecting” you from! PubMed doesn’t lie! Politicians do!

  • R.C.

    Why would someone want to stop something that is working so well ? All of the cuts we the people must deal with because the city does not have funds. There was not any harm being done. But now we the people/patients must deal with the results of a few. The fact is that there will be lines like those of COMCAST, the old system at the DMV and so on. Prices that will rise due to limited clubs. No longer the friendly service given at all of the clubs I and everyone else I have talk to receives. A smaller selection of products. Let us NOT forget, YOU will put back the easy $$$$ illegal activities, that are almost gone. NO TAX MONEY for the city. Have one of you ever been to a club, the size of facility one would need would be huge. You council members must be exactly the same as the people that voted for George Bush Jr. a second time. I really must hear your logical reason for passing such a F____D UP WHATEVER you call it DUMB A_S . All I have said is as plain as the axiom on my face.

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