An initiative that would repeal San Jose’s new medical marijuana regulations garnered enough signatures to make it to the ballot.
Now, the City Council has three choices: accept the initiative as is, push it to the general election in 2016 or hold a special election sometime sooner.
The proposed initiative spearheaded by a group called Sensible San Jose seeks to overturn the bulk of regulations enacted city leaders over the summer. San Jose’s new rules limit collectives to about 1 percent of the city and require all product to be grown and manufactured on-site.
The initiative would do away with distance requirements from schools, daycares and other “sensitive use” sites. Unlike the city’s program, the initiative wouldn’t allow the city to recover cost, according to a staff analysis ordered by Mayor Chuck Reed.
“I have grave concerns about this initiative,” Reed states in a September memo. “The proponents told those signing that it would protect children and neighborhoods, but as with any legislation, the devil is in the details.”
Some of those details include prohibiting the city from accepting federal funding to crack down on the local cannabis industry and requiring city officials to inspect a dispensary for compliance only if they provide reasonable notice. San Jose’s existing rules, adopted a few months ago, allow the city to inspect a facility at any time.
The initiative would allow delivery-only businesses, as opposed to city rules that require all marijuana sales to take place at a permitted pot club.
Fines would drop significantly under the initiative. The council recently adopted a fine schedule ranging from $2,500 to $50,000 for violations. The initiative proposes capping those at $100.
San Jose’s marijuana sector has shrunk dramatically with the passage of the city's new rules in June. Of the city’s 80 pot clubs, 47 have applied for zoning permits. Twenty were already denied, 20 are under review and six were approved. But they still have to be reviewed for compliance with the city’s new operational regulations.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of San Jose's newly enacted regulations and the changes proposed by the citizen-led initiative.
More from the San Jose City Council agenda for October 28, 2014:
- In a show of solidarity with the city’s Vietnamese community, the council will consider a resolution that would ban city leaders from meeting with any government officials from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. San Jose has the largest Vietnamese population in the United States. “Many of our Vietnamese-American residents have fought and sacrificed for freedom an democracy in Vietnam, and have suffered from imprisonment and other hardships wrought by the oppressive government of Vietnam,” Mayor Chuck Reed and council members Madison Nguyen and Sam Liccardo state in a joint memo.
- The Santa Clara Valley Audobon Society is appealing a permit that would have allowed developers to lower some hills in south San Jose to make way for new single-family homes.
WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260