San Jose Pot Club Owners Protest New City Regulations
SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Advocates of medical marijuana rallied outside San Jose City Hall Thursday in a noisy protest over stringent new operating rules about to go into effect which, pot club owners, said would shut down all the city’s existing marijuana collectives, and force those permitted to re-open into remote areas of the city.
The clubs are dreading July 18, which Dave Hodges, founder of the All American Cannabis Club, said has come to be known as Black Friday in San Jose’s medical marijuana community.
“It’s the start of the paperwork,” he said. “After the ordinance goes into effect, people will be receiving letters saying that they’re in violation of the city code.”
The industrial park areas zoned for pot clubs under the permitting process the City Council adopted in June are too far from patients’ homes, Hodges said.
“The areas that the city is pushing things to are on the outskirts of town and many patients have problems getting access to those,” he said. “What we have right now is collectives spread out throughout the city and people have access that they like.”
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said the city regulations, drafted to comply with federal guidelines for how cities should regulate medicinal marijuana, ensure activity around the pot clubs does not lead to neighborhood conflicts.
“We’re also prohibiting bad behavior,” Reed said. “They need to not bother their neighbors and they need to comply with federal law and state law,” Reed said.
The marijuana collectives have launched a signature drive for a referendum that would overturn parts of the ordinance, including what Hodges said are unrealistic operating procedures for some products.
“Forcing everybody to produce all their own edibles, topicals and concentrates on-site at the collective is virtually impossible,” he said.