San Jose Rules Committee to Discuss Pot Laws, Rent Control

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.

More from the San Jose Rules and Open Government Committee agenda for March 16, 2016:

  • 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

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


  1. Will landlords opt to have “Leases” with definitive and express terms to combat the communist ideology that has given permanent supportive housing to; vagrants, felons, social outcasts and other assorted miscreants via multiple housing projects? If not, Landlords might as well “deed” their property over to those they are foolish enough to rent their property.

    The proposed rent control municipal statutes enshrine communist ideology and further exacerbate the issue that
    San Jose has become an irreversible, festering ghetto and sewer and as such; San Jose is not a worthwhile economic endeavor for investors and or other persons of monetary means to consider San Jose rental properties as viable investments.

    David S. Wall

  2. > Mayor Sam Liccardo wants to talk about how to leverage technology to make San Jose a “Smart City.”

    Could San Jose EVER be a “Smart City” if it is governed by a dumb mayor and dumb politicians?

    The idea of San Jose being a “Smart City” seems to be a classic oxymoron, like “tall pygmy” or “government compassion”.

  3. Kalra is on the money as usual. While the vertical model is do-able, the downside is it will result in a lot of lost revenue for the CSJ. Last night meeting brought a lot of changes.

    –Collectives sharing space (ie subletting)
    –Collectives having grow operations outside of the dispensing operations
    –Full 180 on concentrates policies, allowing their manufacture in the CSJ (I think it was Riva’s concentrates that brought up we have to have Lab standards, we agree)
    –The allowance of non-dispensary businesses in San Jose (food, lab, others)

    The future is looking very bright for San Jose in regards to this industry.

    • Those were just suggestions and ideas thrown about last night Robert ……. nothing was settled. I was there as well.

      • There was also several folks going into several minute, offtopic tirades. Sigh.. Some of us just want to get through it to get home in time for dinner with the kiddos. The nice thing is though a lot of ideas are out on the table that were strictly off before, and San Jose looks ready to take things in a new direction.

        • Whenever you open up something like this to the public you’ll get a few kooks that’ll show up and spew unwarranted drivel. I agree San Jose seems to be opening up more ……….. I think they realize they have no choice as the State is ultimately going to dictate things and if San Jose tries to step too far away ….. they will open themselves up to more unwinnable lawsuits.

          • I’m not aware of San Jose losing any of the high profile MJ lawsuits. I know one clubs efforts has gone to the appellate courts, and another 2 others I think just got bled dry from the effort and quit.

    • Roberts and ALL Councilmembers,

      Are you so close to the Forrest that you can’t see the damn trees? Blinded by the greed and desire for money from marijuana patients medicine transactions that you would blatantly violate federal, state and local law! You just now figured out that ALL of these so-called good actors the City approved to operate as long as they pay 10% to them are nothing more than unlawful corporate for-profit illegal dispensaries middle manning marijuana illegally grown by any walking in their door with pounds of cannabis! Geata is gone for a reason and Ash will be next if he doesn’t learn the letter of the law, lawmakers should at least know right from wrong and actually educate themselves before they shoot themselves in the foot for proporting drug trafficking and money laundering. The truth and the facts surrounding ALL of this are about to come out and once and for ALL people will understand how and why the laws are supposed to be followed and exactly why they haven’t been….MONEY!

      Dave A.

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