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San Jose Deadlocks Over Medical Marijuana Legislation

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A vial of medical marijuana

Marijuana is poured from a jar at at medical marijuana dispensary. (David McNew/Getty Images)

TimRyan20100909_KCBS_0232r Tim Ryan
Tim Ryan graduated from CSU Chico with a Journalism degree and work...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) — The San Jose City Council deadlocked on Tuesday in its years-long effort to regulate medical medical Marijuana collectives and dispensaries.

After discussing the issue for hours, the city council arrived at a 5-5 vote on medical marijuana zoning and operating regulations. The plan to push all of them—currently about 90—to industrial areas would result with many having to shut down.

San Jose Deadlocks Over Medical Marijuana Legislation

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But Mayor Chuck Reed, who wants to keep dispensaries away from homes, schools, community centers and rehab clinics said that 623 parcels would be eligible.

“In San Diego, they allow 36; Seattle, they allow 20; L.A. has 134; and, Denver, 102. So I don’t think we’re going to get 623 collectives, or anywhere near that number, but we certainly have a lot of opportunities,” he said.

Councilman Ash Kalra said that not enough had been done to protect commercial districts and that the city hasn’t shut down enough “bad actors.”

Councilwoman Rose Herrera, however, is leading an effort to ban them entirely.

“If we look at the all cities around us that have banned it, why is it going to be here? Why are we making ourselves the center for anybody who wants to go and purchase marijuana?” she said.

Currently, the city collects a 10-percent tax from the bulk of dispensaries, amounting to more than $5.6 million a year. Several shops, however, refused to comply with the tax until the city comes up with a regulatory plan.

The council agreed to address the cannabis issue again on June 10 when Pete Constant, an absent council member returns. The proposal to require that all of the pot be grown within city limits, however, has been tabled until probably August.

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