San Jose Approves 16 Pot Clubs to Operate in City Limits

It’s official: 16 cannabis clubs have passed legal muster to operate in San Jose. The city posted the list of collectives online just after the 5pm deadline Friday, a year-and-a-half after enacting its medical marijuana ordinance.

The final 16 include some of the biggest players in the local industry. The cost of complying with the city’s regulations forced many out of business. Before passing the ordinance, which bans pot clubs from all but 1 percent of the city, San Jose was home to more than 100 collectives.

One of the biggest challenges has been complying with the city’s vertical integration model, which requires a collective to control everything from seed to sale.

Just weeks before the Dec. 18 deadline, the city dialed down some of those rules, allowing pot clubs to buy and sell from one another. In March, it will consider whether to reverse a requirement that limits cultivation to only Santa Clara County or contiguous counties.

While the list of 16 is final, there remains a lot more work for both the city and collectives. For one thing, San Jose will have to figure out how to mesh its local rules with the state’s new marijuana regulations.

“We are still working through a variety of legal processes to close those that might still be operating illegally,” city spokesman Dave Vossbrink told San Jose Inside. “We will be implementing recent amendments to the city’s ordinances. And we will be working with the Legislature to reconcile recent legislation and city ordinances.”

Meanwhile, some collectives will continue to press the city to relax its stance on vertical integration in favor of a hybrid model. Under the city’s rules, a pot club has to manufacture all of its own product.

But certain medicines, such as suppositories and transdermal patches, have to be made in a laboratory, in a highly regulated clean-room setting. For many collectives, it would be impractical to incorporate commercial kitchens and medical labs when they could simply buy the product from a third-party vendor.

The threat of a ballot measure may force the city to make more compromises. Come June, residents will likely vote on the Sensible San Jose initiative, which would replace the city’s pot ordinance.

Under the ballot measure authored by Oakland-based attorney James Anthony, dispensaries would still register with the city, pay taxes and follow a set of operational requirements. But vertical integration would be optional and zoning less exclusionary.

Below is a list of the collectives that have come up to city code.

Buddy’s Cannabis Patient Collective, 1075 N. 10th St.

Airfield Supply Company, 1190 Coleman Ave.

GWS Health, 2943 Daylight Way

Caliva, 1695 S. Seventh St.

Natural Herbal Pain Relief, 2121 S. 10th St.

Herbs, 543 Parrott St.

Elemental Wellness Center, 985 Timothy Drive

Purple Lotus Patient Center, 752 Commercial Way

Canna Culture, 3591 Charter Park Drive

White Fire, Inc., 111 Old Tully Road

Haze, Inc., 1731 Smith Ave.

Santa Cruz Genetics, Inc., 92 Pullman Way

CA Collective, 210 Phelan Ave.

Theraleaf Relief, Inc., 1014 Timothy Drive

Harborside Health Center, 1365 N. 10th St.

Little Orchard, 1859 Little Orchard St.

This article has been updated.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. These collectives are a bunch of bone head stoners. One would think that if they truly wanted to be taken seriously they would use names that were not “stonerish”… Also the cute little names they come up with for their weed “medicine”. Its a giant scam. Lets just call it what it is …. Pot for stoners. And yes I do believe that there is a beneficial medical use but the majority of teenage pot heads I see congregating around these places makes me laugh….

    • End of the day the only thing that really matters is

      A. Are we following all state/CSJ laws
      B. Are we paying taxes
      C. Are we conducting ourselves to the city in a manner that’s in the spirit of cooperation

      Maybe you’re right. Maybe I oversimplified it, but basically those three things is what got us through. That and about 1500 pages of mechanical drafting, cut sheets, and permit processing.

      Sadly 104 clubs were more boneheaded than us.

    • I have to wonder, just for a start, how much time DO you spend watching ? (the majority of teenage pot heads I see congregating around these places)

      I am an Epileptic, and 54, I find an honest medical use in Cannabis. I will agree, the naming is silly, but not my job. I take offence at your “their weed “medicine”” this implies that it is not in fact medicine at all. As a medicine, it is one that can do things for Epilepsy that nothing else in the world can. The Big Pharma Gets to charge my health care THOUSANDS a month for my Epilepsy Medication, you want a Scam? there you go.

      As to your assertion that this is all “Pot for stoners”, even if this were true, and this was all the program offered, it STILL, does much more than you seem to realize. I came from Florida, Pots Illegal there, well on the books. In my shithole little neighborhood playground (across the street from my house) the 10-14 year olds’ sold so much pot in that park the cops wouldn’t even get out of the car to yell at them! Here the pot is clean, weighed, and really pot, not synthetic. I am a parent, I am concerned about my children. In Cali, it is MUCH harder to get pot than in most other “illegal”, states.

      So, I’m cool with a “pay your fees, prove your an adult, and you can have your goodies” system. If that’s the system at it’s worst, I can live with that.

    • Go Down a few bottles of Jack Daniels that won’t harm you at all! Guess some people watch things like Reefer Madness and actually believe the B.S. Have you ever been inside a collective? Most of what I see are people between 30 and 60 some in wheelchairs some with canes some like me without.. Don’t ever remember seeing a lot of teenage stoners at any of the clubs I have been to. Of course some people can’t keep there eyes off of teens.

  2. I believe the City screened out applicants in licensing. The City doesn’t comply with the Americans with disabilities act anymore. Part of the problem is no one has the skills anymore at City Hall to be able to provide a reasonable accommodation. This is what the City says about itself here with the first two pages:
    It’s really sad to be living in San Jose where the administration at City Hall is 25 years behind the times. The City doesn’t care about the general public. Reasonable accommodations is supposed to be an easy process but the City wouldn’t know that because they are to cheap to spend the money to.

  3. Ok ………. so now what about the storefronts that were rejected yet still operate? What about the delivery services? Is the city going to shut all of these down any time soon ?

    • None of that matters. The city is freaking out right now because their poorly written ordinance is under threat. The new state laws will make everything obsolete. Very embarrassing.

      • It does matter because San Jose is trying to set up something that *should* be the model for the rest of the industry. Current zoning in industrial is perfect for this.

        Let me ask you, what’s your lab experience? Here’s mine.

        That’s my father. He was one of those brilliant, yet eccentric guys allowed to get away with murder at his old company. I spent more time with him at Alza Pharmacutical labs that I can even count, and his brilliance is why it was tolerated.

        I have yet to see any concentrate maker (shatter/wax/bho/etc) have a setup even close to the minimum of what they should have. At a minimum…

        Workstations should have slate countertops
        Workstations should have an emergency hood that drops down at the push of a button (to contain gasses/explosions)
        All labs should have eye wash stations
        All labs should have labcoats
        All labs should have sterilization procedures in place be it autoclave, UV or chemical.

        That’s just off the top of my head. Seriously, we do not need people producing concentrates in residential neighborhoods. We’ve already had a few houses in SJ go up when someone screwed up doing their BHO.

        I doubt that the state is going to be OK with you guys doing it anywhere but industrial.

        • The governor already signed a bill that passed —starting Jan 1st. the state forbids growing and retail operations at the same location, something San Jose made up and many of the clubs went along with. SJ will pay dearly for that in terms of lawsuits. Robert Cortese, do you have a life or are you a SJ Inside troll?

          • Tell you what ……. if I just spent hundreds of thousands moving my location and/or building out grow facilities ………… and San Jose wasn’t going to shut all the other unauthorized storefronts and delivery services down within a week ……………… there would be a different sort of lawsuit coming down on the city.

          • Oh I get it. You’re incapable of coming up with a decent response, so you just decided to take it down a notch with namecalling.

            Must mean I was right. Thanks for the validation.

  4. Ok ……….. so what about the storefronts that either were rejected or didn’t bother to move/conform and are still operating? What about all of the delivery services? Is the city planning to shut all of these down any time soon?

  5. “Certain Medicines” should be made in a lab, I thought all of this was medicine for sick people!
    It should all be made under FDA health standards, It’s for very sick and dying people , Right?

    Good lawyers are going to make millions off these guys!

    Where is El Chopo these days?

  6. Once marijuana is legalized here in California & San Jose voters overturn these specious & ill-conceived regulations,vengeance will be sweet ! All the new regulations have accomplished is driving up the cost of doing business for dispensaries & the price of marijuana for thousands of patients. This continues to insure that marijuana obtained from the black market (drug dealers) will be an even better deal than it previously was & that our children will once again have better access to it than those with a doctor’s recommendation !! I’ve been a medical marijuana patient for over a decade (“chronic” back pain) & a daily consumer for over four decades. I only patronize dispensaries for items unobtainable elsewhere (wide variety of edibles & concentrates) because I lack the requisite skills & inclination to produce them myself. Keep this in mind the next time you read a story about your neighbors destroying an apartment building in another butane hash oil explosion. Only a fool would pay the outrageous prices charged for marijuana at cannabis clubs if it can be obtained elsewhere for a significantly lower price. Then again this is exactly what you’d expect from a bunch clueless morons elected by even more clueless morons,way to go San Jose you’ve really outdone yourselves this time. Remember marijuana is here to stay while these meddling imbeciles will soon be exposed for their ignorance & duplicity as their political careers come to an abrupt stop. With a majority of Californians now favoring complete legalization you’re either with us or against us & we’ll certainly remember who are friends really are come election day. “There are two kinds of victory,initial & ultimate” – Winston Churchill & “We shall overcome” – Martin Luther King. In the meantime “Everything we know is wrong”,”Roll me a bomber & leave it on the side table” & “So long seekers,the longer the better” – The Firesign Theatre.

    • > I only patronize dispensaries for items unobtainable elsewhere ….

      TAX EVADER !

      Send in the SWAT teams.

      In this case, I’ll suspend my reservations about using armored vehicles. Do what you have to do rip those tax dollars from greedy Frank’s pot besmirched fingers.

    • If you think it’s overpriced now Frank ………….wait until you see the costs rise after the State regulations take affect……….and that goes for not only medical but recreational as well. Take a look at AB-266 sometime and you’ll agree it is FUBR. The sad thing is ……………. the recreational initative that will likely make the 2016 ballot mirrors it to a very large degree. Be careful what you wish for …

    • Marijuana prohibition has made outlaws of tens of millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens. This in turn has bred contempt for not only the law,but the legal system & those who enforce the law as well. While dozens of cooperatives (legally operated under state law) run by dedicated & responsible individuals whose sole goal was to supply medical marijuana to patients with a bonafide doctor’s recommendation have been forced to close,those with political connections & millions at their disposal have been handed a virtual monopoly by the San Jose City Council. These political posers don’t give a damn about fairness,the hardship on patients who loved their former dispensary & lack access to the handful of those remaining or the rising cost of their medication for which these sleazy politicians are solely responsible. One would surmise that having more dispensaries in more convenient places would generate more tax dollars,but that simple fact is lost on the simple minds of the simpletons who unnecessarily complicated a non-existent crisis of their own making. I’ll continue to acquire my medication at a dispensary in Berkeley that’s not burdened with such ridiculous regulations & can provide it at a most reasonable price. In addition I’ll try not to waste my hard-earned cash in San Jose by buying anything at retailers,restaurants,gas stations or auto dealerships & I’ll no longer be spending my entertainment dollars at San Jose Sharks games,San Jose Giant games or the Improv until this appalling situation is eventually rectified. I encourage any like-minded folks to join me & hit these political pikers where it hurts the most by reducing the cities sales tax revenue significantly. Remember that most anything available in San Jose can be acquired in cities friendlier to cannabis patients like San Francisco,Oakland & Berkeley & you’ll feel better about paying taxes to a city that actually cares about your well-being. It seems like San Jose is the city with the most people in the Bay Area & the politicians with the least common sense ! Boycott San Jose businesses & boycott these sixteen dispensaries if you can procure your medication elsewhere without creating an undue hardship on yourself or the patient in your care. Hope to see you elsewhere soon ! Hey,SJBOOBLE – better “pot” besmirched fingers than a sullied & besmirched reputation like yours !!!

      • Frank if you think the city Regs are bad just wait till your back is as twisted as my 93 year old mothers is, and you have to deal with the Federal regulations and Obama’s special tax plan for your Oxycontin and other medical devise’s.

        A new prescription every month and it can only be hand carried not called in, and on and on………..
        You could end up like Rush Limba!

  7. > Hope to see you elsewhere soon !

    Sounds like social progress to me.

    One less smelly pot head in San Jose and no more second hand smoke.

    Would you ask the ambitionless dope pushers in Berkeley if we could work out a package deal: for every doper we push there way, we get to throw in a homeless person.

  8. There won’t be a San Jose Ballot Measure. They have no volunteer army.

    People would rather watch TV than work as a volunteer so someone else can charge them for pot in the future.

    • Besides ……….. a ballot measure would lose this time. The voters are likely satisfied with the new regulations.

  9. Why doesn’t Obama make all pot free,after all they seize tons of the stuff and burn it like every year after they have thrown some poor undocumented democrat in jail for doing work that Americans wont do.

    Like it’s good medicine man!

    It’s just not fair we have to buy Taxed American grown pot when there is perfectly good grass coming into this country from hard working mules, coyotes and smugglers just looking for a better life, and they love us too!

  10. Cousin Cortese: I finally figured out how you can spend so much time during the work day blogging on SJI—your stoner bosses are too wasted on their “MMJ” to notice as they pass around the Doritos and Peanut M&M’s. Is that Tommy Chong passing through? Far out man! YO! Don’t Bogart my “medicine”, Dude!

    • JMO rears his ugly head, or is it his head is ugly like a rear?

      Whatever the case might be, you’re just an angry old goat with nothing nice to say.. Ever.. I’ve found in life that to be my best at anything, I just have to not be like people who set the bar so low.. In your case, I hope to never be like you in old age.

      I will grow old, surrounded by a family that loves me, which is probably more than I can say for your sorry butt spending your Christmas sadly tapping away at a keyboard trying to sling insults my way.

      You are truly the saddest human I’ve ever met online. I hope you continue to stay the perpetual old loser you are now, because it will make it easier for my life to best yours in my old age.. Merry Christmas =[

      • Hey Robert, I’ve read all your comments. You are very well informed about the las on medical marijuana. Quick question for you, I heard there is a rumor that san jose is going to ban BHO concentrates. It’s that true?

        • IIRC the ban is already in effect mostly due to concerns I listed above about most BHO’s not being produced in an environment that is setup to laboratory standards. You might want to check into Rosins though, which aren’t produced using any chemical solvents. (Just a 4 ton shop press and water) One of our employees who’s a concentrate consumer told me he’s completely switched.

          It’ll just be a matter of time before BHO is being produced again though. I think the CSJ would appreciate it if someone with a chemistry degree laid out what equipment would be needed to do it safely, followed up by someone with a medical degree stating that properly vacuumed evacuated extracts pose no health threats to people.

          • I know all about rosin, thinking about getting a 20 ton press myself. I totally agree with you that the city needs to hire somebody to lay down some guidelines for a way to produce BHO safely. The thing is, no body told the dispensaries because they are still selling them. I also can’t find any thing on the web saying san jose banned BHO. Just some outdated articles wanting to ban BHO. Thanks for the reply.

          • Just curious , what makes San Jose’s new reg. better or worse than the states or even the next ballot measures? I know many people that now drive to S.F. and other cities rather than deal with San Jose, Or load up when the “hemp con” comes around?

      • Whoa, Cousin Cortese. You used to be a severe critic of SJI bloggers who were personally insulting and/or used ad hominem arguments in disputes with other bloggers. Everything is A-OK if directed at others, but if it is directed at you, your panties get all in a bunch. Have you switched from “medical” marijuana to hitting the meth pipe? Am I old? Not yet. Am I angry? Nope, but I am seriously annoyed by self-important hypocritical frauds like you. Near as I can tell, your company and fifteen others have set up an MMJ monopoly in SJ with the unsuspecting mayor and council on your side and that of the other fifteen MMJ oligarchs in San Jose. If you had any intellectual honesty you would get behind a sensible “recreational” marijuana law. It has been my opinion since the late 60’s that MJ is no more or no less dangerous than alcohol. I will gladly sign any and all petitions I am presented with for the total legalization of MJ. But of course full legalization would bust the monopoly the SJ MMJ oligarchy now has. Recreational MJ result would decimate the profits of The SJ MMJ 16. Don’t even try to argue that all the “dispensaries/collectives” are not for profits. United Way, Second Harvest, and the American Cancer Society are all nominally not for profits and their executives make a quarter million dollars or more per year. Face it, most rational people realize that “medical” marijuana is a complete joke. It’s just a way for stoners to get their weed in relative safety from John Law, and for opportunists like the SJ MMJ 16 to have a government sanctioned monopoly on distribution. The people I have seen exiting SJ “dispensaries” or “collectives” are not leaving clutching their meds like a person leaving a CVS or a Walgreens. They are virtually all stoners who have just scored weed legally and will soon be stoned. Back in the day I tried MJ. Its only effect was to make me want to consume huge amounts of junk food. When my Dad was dying of cancer some friends scored him some weed. It had ZERO effect on his pain or his nausea. I am confident that there are some folks out there who believe MJ lessens their pain. Most of them are probably persons “suffering” from conditions such as fibromyalgia, a made up physical disease which is really a sop diagnosis for narcissistic head cases. On the other hand, there are hundreds of studies documenting the placebo effect of all sorts of drugs, including MJ— in double blind studies people are given a sugar pill or some herb other than MJ to smoke, and magically their pain goes away. Feed your head!

        • > Face it, most rational people realize that “medical” marijuana is a complete joke. It’s just a way for stoners to get their weed in relative safety from John Law, and for opportunists like the SJ MMJ 16 to have a government sanctioned monopoly on distribution.

          True dat!

          > Most of them are probably persons “suffering” from conditions such as fibromyalgia, a made up physical disease which is really a sop diagnosis for narcissistic head cases.

          Fibromyalgia was probably invented for Bill Clinton so he could say “I feel your pain” and the doofusses of the Democrat base could imagine he was talking to them.

          • YOU are trying to make a better person out of ME? You’re one toke over the line on that one. Four days ago I was finishing up sage chicken with roasted red potatoes finished in olive oil with garlic and rosemary that I prepared. Five days ago I was at Nick’s Next Door in Los Gatos with my son enjoying a duck confit over a roasted Brussels sprouts salad. Excellent pinot noir with both meals. I’ve never had a TV dinner, but you seem to be familiar with them.

      • Mr. Cortese:

        There is a world of difference between JohnMichael’s sardonic wit and the invective you chose to engage in the other night, a line of vituperative speech that suggested Mr. O’Connor is not loved by his flesh and blood. Nothing could be further from the truth, sir.

        You castigated JohnMichael for tapping on his computer on Christmas but chose to be on San Jose Inside yourself this Christmas to respond to his post.

        JohnMichael is not Scrooge, and you are not Scrooge.

        Thankfully, none of us became a new specter this past year called the Ghost of Christmas Never Was.

        Happy New Year!

        • Oh are you pappies son? No, you are mistaken, your pappy has been a constant source of disdained posts directed at me, not sarcasm or sardonic wit in the slightest. He actually made the same claim of “I’m trying to make you a better person” months ago towards me. Funny how he forgets he did that to me just a few months ago.

          Then again how do I have any proof that you are who you claim to be? For all I know you’re just a puppet account, and the entire “O’Conner” branch being presented on SJI is just a figment of someones imagination?

          I think that’s most likely to be true. I don’t even think you or JMO are who you claim to be, rather I believe you are one and the same.

          • I couldn’t help but notice that you failed to address a single substantive point I made in 12/29 post about your precious stoner pot club thinly disguised as medical treatment. Instead you resorted to your usual impotent attack on me personally and to rank speculation about how I spent the holidays. Next you go so far as to attack me by attacking my son, and then deny he even exists! You cannot even copy the correct spelling of O’Connor. You have unsuccessfully attempted to don the mantle of a man with concern for others, while personally attacking those who expose your hypocrisy. C’mon man! You’re just a dope dealer, an opportunistic profiteering fraud, who was clever enough to get the seal of approval from an overmatched mayor and city council who are too busy trying to be all things to all men on the “medical” marijuana issue to comprehend that the 16 approved MMJ “dispensaries” are a mere front for a budding empire of 16 oligarchs dealing dope. You are correct in one respect, however: earlier I did state that I was trying to save you. Clearly my attempt has failed. You present yourself as some humanistic savior of poor souls ridden by pain, when you are in fact a self-serving hypocrite out for the big bucks a monopoly on MMJ can bring to you and to your cohorts. You continually spout PC BS while ripping off the stoners whom you describe as ill folks seeking “treatment.” As I said on the 29th, most of your so called patients are just stoners looking to get high legally in SJ. As for the so called prescriptions, they are easier to get than a handicapped placard, and many of us know dozens of people who have one who aren’t really handicapped; they are just too lazy to walk the few extra steps to the grocery store from the parking lot, or they like the free metered parking perk that comes with the placard.

    • Let me challenge you.

      Come hang out with me for a day. My office is specially situated where I can watch all the traffic come in and out all day. Come watch the people that pull up in wheelchair vans, or kids with conditions, there with their parents. Watch the people come in with walkers, or with canes. Bodies ravaged and stiff from whatever condition ails them. Come watch as those with Multiple Scleroris, epilepsy, and other degenerative conditions come in.

      I don’t consider MJ to be any more or less benign than aspirin. That being said, I have no issue with people using it for mild conditions. Neither should anyone else, unless they want to dig up Ronald Regans corpse and chant Nancy’s mantra of “Just say no”

  11. This is not any legitimate business of the city or state or any of you people that may have an opinion regarding what any consenting adult choses to imbibe or smoke or what those producing and selling the products may do short of fraud and any other initiation of force. That is the bottom line. The city has no legitimate standing in the matter nor does the state.

    • You have forgotten the driving motive of Big Greedy Government, “Windfall Profits Tax” ,and their soul purpose.
      “Redistribution of Wealth” to people looking for a handout, or vote for people that get them drugs.
      Likely the same people.

    • > what any consenting adult choses to imbibe or smoke or what those producing and selling the products may do short of fraud and any other initiation of force.

      I’m all for letting any consenting adult smoke or imbibe whatever they want to . . . so long as they don’t drive impaired, operate heavy machinery, vote, or ask me to pay their medical bills and provide welfare for their kids when they fry their brains with budget priced pot laced with ethanol, meth, heroin, PCP, shaving lotion, mouth wash, thalidomide, or whatever is the junkie fad of the month.

      Unfortunately, we live in a welfare state run by big hearts, and they are going to make me pay the tab for whatever chemical damage that irresponsible people inflict on themselves.

      As it says in the bible: “If ye see a helpless junkie lying in the gutter rolling in dog crap and vomiting all over himself, admonish him, and tell him ‘You poor bastard, you really made a mess of yourself.’ And then walk away.”

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