The Silicon Valley Cannabis Coalition, which aims to overturn a city ordinance that may shut down more than 70 collectives, secured vouchers for 30,000 free medical recommendations and more than 45,000 vouchers for free grams of pot.
Opponents of the city rules soon going into effect will pass out vouchers at a dozen spots in San Jose. For a map of locations, click here.
The group will also stage an “Occupy-style” protest at City Hall for the rest of the week. The signature drive needs 100,000 names by the week’s end.
“City polling proved that over 80 percent of San Jose residents do not want to ban collectives,” said John Lee, head of the coalition. “So instead of banning collectives outright, the mayor decided to make it impossible to operate them. That’s what we’re fighting against.”
The City Council OK’d the ordinance in a 7-3 vote last month. It’s a two-part deal: half regulates zoning and the other half the way clubs operate.
By Friday, all collectives will have to apply for permitting under the new rules, which limit them to 1 percent of the city and would automatically disqualify most pot shops. They will have to produce all cannabis concentrates, edibles and topicals on-site—a cost-prohibitive measure for most clubs. All clubs will need 24-hour security. Outdoor grows are a no-go. And no one under the age of 21 can work at the collectives.
Activists say the regulations spearheaded by Mayor Chuck Reed will put hundreds of workers out of a job and push cannabis sales back to the black market.
“While the mayor claims there are ‘hundreds of potential locations,’ the fact is, even in the best case scenario, it would be hard, if not impossible, for anyone to operate a club under these new regulations," says Dave Hodges, owner of All-American Cannabis Club. "And of the potential locations, only a handful are available to lease for a cannabis club.”