San Jose Councilman Ash Kalra says the city should look to the state for guidance on regulating pot clubs, but also fight to protect local control.
In a memo to Wednesday’s Rules and Open Government Committee, Kalra also asks the city to delay audits of local collectives and ease up on its mandate for vertical integration.
Ultimately, Kalra argues, San Jose should rethink its preference for the business model, which prevents pot clubs from dispensing medicine grown or manufactured anywhere outside the collective.
The city enacted its pot ordinance in 2014, more than a year before California created statewide regulations to govern the industry. San Jose called for vertical integration to prevent a black market from taking hold in licensed collectives. But the new state rules sanction third-party vendors.
“In recent months, it seems apparent that the state is moving away from the vertical integration model,” Kalra writes in his memo. “However, it is important for us to decide the degree to which we want direct oversight of operations and movement of marijuana within and into our city.”
To that end, he says, the city should lobby state lawmakers to uphold local control. Still, he adds, as cannabis laws crystalize on the state level and in other jurisdictions, San Jose may want to move away from vertical integration.
“However, we should be able to decide how far down that path we choose to go,” he writes. “Even if, in the end, we end up with a system consistent with the state in order to create continuity with other jurisdictions.”
Toward the end of last year, the prospect of a 2016 ballot measure that would replace San Jose’s pot ordinance prompted city officials to reconsider restrictions on cannabis sourcing. The City Council expects to hear an update on that effort sometime this month.
Kalra wants the city to also consider lifting a ban on deliveries by certified collectives and hold off on issuing packaging requirements until the state clarifies a standard.
- Mayor Sam Liccardo wants to talk about how to leverage technology to make San Jose a “Smart City.”
- In a letter to the public record, a homeless resident recounts a spat with an AirBnB host to illustrate the lack of consumer protections. “There are no … provisions for the thousands and thousands of people in San Jose who are homeless, without shelter, who have to vacate into the street due to uncontrolled rents,” Christine Clifford writes. “The San Jose and Bay Area hotel costs are exorbitant. If San Jose … did not tax me when renting a motel room as a ‘visitor’ or if the tax could be waived for homeless people, I could save money.”
- Several landlords wrote letters opposing a plan to align annual rent control caps with the rate of inflation. The proposal, which heads to the council next month, would limit allowable rent increases of 44,000 apartments to the consumer price index, which has fluctuated from less than a percent to about 2.8 percent in recent years. Under San Jose’s existing rules, landlords can raise the rent up to 8 percent a year or 21 percent if two years passed without a rent hike.
WHAT: Rules and Open Government Committee meets
WHEN: 2pm Wednesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260