The 7-3 vote will limit where existing and new pot clubs can open up shop, mainly to a few select industrial areas in the city. That also means many dispensaries will have to close, while trying to find a new location.
Under the newly approved rules, pot shops in San Jose will have to grow their own marijuana and will not be allowed to have anyone under the age of 18 inside. The dispensaries will not be allowed within a thousand feet of a school, park or other areas where children gather, 150 feet of a residence and 500 feet from substance abuse centers.
The regulations could take effect as early as July.
“The reason why I am supporting this is because if we do nothing, if we vote for nothing, then we’re voting to continue not regulating the industry,” said San Jose City Council Member Johnny Khamis.
But Ash Kalra, a fellow member of the city council, said he’s concerned the regulations may go too far. “Those that are flaunting the rules won’t care and will open up wherever they want anyway,” he said. “The ones that are abiding are going to be much more restricted in a way that we probably don’t want.”
Dispensary operators have already gathered enough signatures for a ballot measure that would scale back many of the new rules. It is not clear if they will attempt to put the initiative on the November ballot.