City’s Pot Club Program Almost Finalized

San Jose’s City Council established guidelines Tuesday for the city’s medical marijuana regulatory program.

As expected, the council stuck to many of its earlier ideas—a cap of 10 collectives, on-site cultivation of cannabis only and strict zoning regulations—and will move toward finalizing its decision at a Sept. 27 session. The city’s medical marijuana program would reportedly go into effect a month later.

The only substantial requirement added Tuesday to the city’s regulatory program was an amendment put forward by Councilmember Sam Liccardo that collectives include a physician or nurse as an official.

The manner in which the city will award permits, which some collective operators threatened Tuesday will lead to a ballot referendum or lawsuits, is still undecided as city staff looks at in-person or online registration options.

Estimates on how many collectives are in San Jose have varied, but most city officials say there are more than 100 and less than 150. Assuming the city’s regulatory program goes into effect in November, the city will then begin steps to ensure collectives not included in the cap are no longer operational.

Josh Koehn is the managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @Josh_Koehn.


  1. For the record, this is not San Jose’s first regulatory program. The first rules were adopted following Prop. 215’s passage in 1996. With some very basic research I’m sure you can correct your statement.

    You can ascertain for yourself the outcome of that attempt.

  2. Just read this headline in the business section,

    “Symantec leases big office building that could contain up to 1,000 workers as tech expansion gallops on in South Bay”

    This article went on to list several other companies that were expanding in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara.

    Maybe if the mayor, city council, and city manager of San Jose were paying attention to legitimate business growth, instead of trying to play fair with pot dealers operating under the guise of a legitimate pharmacy, they wouldnt be in the mess they are.

      • Precisely….if they could, big business (aside from Casinos, pot stores, and affordable house) would be locating in San Jose rather than Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto. Just think, those city council members in these smaller and much more successful cities serve for just a stipend and do a much better job.

        • In the last month things have gotten pretty strange.  I’ve had 3 pot club owners come talk to me at 7 Bamboo.  All of them came to let me know that they hope to see justice when it comes to Ariel Loveland/Elemental wellness (and on that note, DA just filed battery charges against him and his wife)

          Last night one owner gave me a rundown on what the numbers are going to be…

          In San Jose there is 73,000 pot card holders.  On average, they spend about $50 @ week on pot.

          x   50
          3,650,000 @ week
          189,800,000 @ year

          With the sales tax + added SJ tax, that’s quite a bit of money going into the SJ coffers.

        • Robert, those taxes only get paid if the dispensaries are open.

          More likely, local patients will now drive to other cities which will reap the tax benefits. By the way, have you noticed how those cities aren’t laying off cops & librarians? 

          San Jose is obviously trying to prevent patients from getting medical marijuana despite California law, despite federal enforcement guidelines, and despite the will of 80% of San Jose’s voters.

          Preventing access is what our short-sighted city staff had in mind all along as they crafted this bad law.

          What other city requires on-site cultivation? City staff has administratively created a Catch 22 where dispensaries MUST have the type of large scale grow operations the Feds do not allow. There is no need for this requirement.

          What other city demands the right to review patient’s records? (And how much will the resulting Medical Privacy lawsuits cost San Jose taxpayers?)

          Why the ban on ground-floor dispensaries, when collectives already must be located in industrial areas? Explain that to the cancer patient, wounded veteran or your friend with glaucoma as they try to negotiate a flight of stairs.

          80% of San Jose voters said very clearly that they wanted the benefits of taxed medical marijuana. Despite this mandate it looks like a citizen’s ballot measure will have to occur to create a workable law.

          Where can I sign the petition?

        • 80 cops were laid off in Oakland last year.
          Libraries almost had to close because of a 1.7m budget shortfall.

          You talk about “those taxes only get paid if the dispensaries are open. “

          OK, granted BUT those dispensaries won’t stay open unless it is regulated, and guidelines are in place to ensure that only the finest candidates run them.

          What other city requires on-site cultivation? City staff has administratively created a Catch 22 where dispensaries MUST have the type of large scale grow operations the Feds do not allow. There is no need for this requirement.

          Another comment I made to a Pierluigi post outlines my concerns.  My grandmother has 3 clubs in a 1 mile radius of an office building she owns.  She’s had to cut rent because the tennant, while a decent guy (takes good care of the property) isn’t doing well in this economy with his real-estate dependent business.

          Main concern for myself (and our part of the Cortese family) is will our property become “undesirable” to lease because of an overwhelming marijuana odor emanating from the clubs nearby grow operations.

          Getting sidetracked here, but OK, they say indoor only, but don’t greenhouses count as indoor?

    • Google expanding?  Facebook?  LinkedIn?  meh.

      You’re a glass-half-empty guy.

      Think of all the crumpled 20 dollar bills that will soon be filling city coffers.

  3. The City is once again proving its own dysfunctionality.  On-site cultivation is both illogical and impractical.  But so is taxing a substance that may or may not be illegal, depending upon who you ask and when, in a manner that may or may not be legal, depending upon whose jurisdiction you choose to adhere to.

    The City of San Jose has to grow up and act its age.  Just a few days ago, Mayor Reed and officials commemorated 9/11 with a walk to Firehouse One.  The same firehouse they have denied the opportunity to turn into a museum which would honor first responders and their fire fighters.

    The now-half/empty City Hall seems bent on proving its own relevance by passing referendums that will surely justify their own existence, but will do little to aid those who use medicinal marijuana to alleviate their pain and suffering – which really was the intent in the first place.

    Quit playing politics with peoples’ lives.

    • With all due respect to the people you reference as “first responders,” I don’t see any valid basis for converting a fire station into a museum to honor such people.  That strikes me as eminently tacky, and frankly more than a little grotesque, like something they’d do in the old Soviet Union, or under Mussolini.  Police, firefighters, and EMTs do an obviously necessary job (for which they are rather well compensated), but a healthy society doesn’t venerate its cops, any more than we need a museum for honoring construction workers (let’s face it, they’re very important, for without them, there’d be very few buiildings or roads…yet wouldn’t such a museum be a bit silly?).

      My grandfather was a police officer, and I’m quite sure he’d agree with me.

  4. we let all pot club owners harbor murderers and then transport them out of town.  Who the hell is doing background on the folks.  Thank you City of San Jose!