By Kiet Do

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Cannabis clubs in San Jose are collecting signatures and handing out new medical pot cards in hopes of preventing the closure of dozens of dispensaries.

Hundreds of people are expected at a noon rally in front of City Hall to protest new limits on pot club operations within the city. Signature collectors have been out in force in recent weeks, trying to get 10,000 signatures that would put a referendum on the November ballot to reverse the new restrictions.

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Three of the biggest changes involve mandating that the dispensaries to grow their own marijuana, requiring them to set up shop in industrial zones and forcing them to manufacture their own edibles, like pot cookies and brownies.

Under the new regulations, 73 dispensaries and collectives will face closure at the end of next week, forcing a lot of patients to go elsewhere, and costing an estimated 1,000 people their jobs.

“With the city’s regulations, it would be virtually impossible to stay open,” says Dave Hodges of the All American Cannabis Club.

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The first 1,000 people who show up to the rally Thursday will have the option to get a free evaluation, and if they qualify, be given a free cannabis card.

Some dispensaries came under fire recently when they promised free pot to people  who voted in the June primary.

The rally is planned from Noon to 7 p.m.

It’s not clear if the city will move ahead with the club closures if enough signatures are gathered to force a referendum.

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