SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Pot clubs not following San Jose’s new cannabis club regulations could soon be handed a massive fine.

On Tuesday, the City Council will consider raising the schedule of fees for a violation from $25 to a range of $2,500 to $50,000.

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The move comes after the council adopted tough new pot club regulations over the summer banning medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within 1,000 feet of schools, 150 feet of homes or 500 feet from drug rehab centers. It left only about 1,400 parcels of land, or about 1 percent of the city, where the dispensaries could operate — mainly a few select industrial areas in north San Jose.

About 80 pot clubs were counted within city limits earlier this summer. Only a handful are expected to survive once the three-month grace period to relocate or shut down ends Oct. 17.

The increased fines are expected to give police greater power in ensuring pot clubs abide by the new rules, San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel writes in a memo.

  • Personal use regulations and nuisance related violations (public urination, disturbance of the peace, etc.) would be assessed at the lowest level:
    • $2,500 for the first violation
    • $5,000 for a second violation within a twelve month period from the date of previous violation
    • $7,500 for a third and each subsequent violation within a twelve month period from the date of previous violation
  • Operational and record-keeping violations would be assessed at the middle level:
    • $5,000 for the first violation
    • $7,500 for a second violation within a twelve month period from the date of previous violation
    • $10,000 for a third and each subsequent violation within a twelve month period from the date of previous violation
  • More egregious violations such as multiple locations or transfer of a Notice of Completed Registration would be assessed at the highest level:
    • $10,000 for the first violation
    • $25,000 for a second violation within a twelve month period from the date of previous violation
    • $50,000 for a third and each subsequent violation within a twelve month period from the date of previous violation
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Opponents have attempted to strike down the new regulations claiming it effectively amounts to an outright ban. But pot club advocates failed to collect enough signatures for a referendum.

Also this summer, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries from operating in unincorporated Santa Clara County.

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