Medical Marijuana Moves Closer to Being Taxed

The city stopped accepting tax applications from medical marijuana businesses last month, and a memo from the city’s finance director indicates there were slightly more than expected.

A memo sent Wednesday from Scott Johnson to the City Council states there were 102 medical marijuana businesses in San Jose as of mid-December, four more than announced at a Dec. 8 council meeting. Five days after that meeting, council held an emergency session ordering the city to stop accepting business tax applications for the sale of marijuana.

While opening dates were not given for all of the medical marijuana businesses in a directory included with Johnson’s memo, only 25 businesses were started before 2010. Six of the businesses are known cannabis dispensaries but did not acquire a business tax certificate.

A memo from the finance department, expected to be sent out in the next couple weeks, will detail the city’s plans to implement the tax beginning March 1.


Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. A few thoughts on Medical Marijuana and San Jose’s potential economic development opportunities

    – At least 20 are out of town businesses trying to sell marijuana in San Jose with people from Berkely / Oakland area, Sacramento, East Bay, San Francisco, Los Angeles / Santa Monica area, Fairfield area, Palo Alto area, New York City area, Chicago area, Atlanta area based ion area codes of phone numbers

    – Are these business really coming to San Jose to help out sick and pain ridden or for profits, easy access to California’s growers and drug suppliers now that California has gone ahead of Mexico as major grower and distributor of marijuana for US ?

    – Will San Jose become leader in California Legal front end marijuana business supplying millions of customers back home in other states

    Are some of these businesses owned by or will soon be owned bty Mexican and Colombian Drug cartels to be as multiple drug suppliers to US’s sick, pain ridden addicted and recreational users making it a international business decvelopment opportunity for billion of customers

    – The DEA, Drug Cartels, criminals now in short terms have a target list to close down, rob, firebomb, get a percentage of very profitable business, for hostile takeovers with guns and thugs or give information to DEA to close your competitors

    It would take a few years to sort out legally and eventiually recognize the business and tax opportunties but think about the local business opportunities and how San Jose would jump start a Innovative Green Business boom that would make high tech and social networking like like last years old school businesses in innovative 21th Century global competitive business

    – Out of state ownership of San Jose marijuana businesses probably legally falls under interstate commerce by federal government so San Jose will have big economic, jobs and tax boost in downtown hotels, restaurants, car rentals, airline, federal indictments, attorneys to defend accused, years of court trails etc as DEA, Justice Department, FBI, IRS and many other federal government agencies come to town for a few years by would fall of as federal government recognizes the billions in taxes that could payoff government debt to Chinese and have a international trade surplus while paying for low cost health care, schooling and other needed programs and unlike alcohol and tobacco who fight and get into trouble marijuana uses are mellow,  smile a lot, spend lots money on munchies, expensive stuff they don’t need, concerts and festivals reducing public safety costs and boosting local tax revenue

    Chamber of Commerce should develop a new San Jose logo as new green innovation business leader to replace tired old “Capital of Silicon Valley”  maybe the new business development logo should be

    Green Innovation Capital of World

    – giving a new meaning to green business: locally grown, sustainable, organic, envirnmentally friendly highly profitable with bongs replacing beer at company parties

    We could be first in US, maybe world leader with local business incubators for 1000’s new marijuana business startups using empty old City Hall, overflow technical classes at community college and new MBA and Doctorate Green Bio / Agri Business programs at San Jose State

    Local arts and music scene would boom with overflow mellow crowds replacing angry drunks at concerts and events at local clubs, HP Arena, California Theater, Civil Auditorium and Convention Center  

    Instead of guns and bullets we would see smiles and flowers in their hair on downtown sidewalks and parks making San Francisco Haight Ashbury look so 60’s with homeless

    Pierluigi Oliverio would be Grand Marshall of San Jose’s First Annual Marijuna Harvest Festival,  a month long international signature downtown event drawing hundreds of thousands mellow free spending diverse attendees from all over the world to San Jose

  2. Up in Budget Smoke

    San Jose’s new Budget Theme song

    – Up in Budget Smoke

    ( Cheech & Chong – Up In Smoke –  )

    ( Pierluigi )
    Up in smoke
    That’s where budget money goes
    in city pensions, subsidies
    and sometimes up my nose
    When troubled budget times
    Begin to bother me
    I take a big toke
    and all my budget cares
    Go up in smoke

    ( Chuck )
    Up in smoke
    Donde todos es mi rey
    There are no signs
    Que dice no fumer
    So I roll un “bomber” budget
    Y me doy, un buen toke-ay
    Y despues I choke
    Y todos mis cares
    Go up in smoke
    Come on Council let’s get high

    ( Council – All together )
    Up in smoke
    That’s where budget gonna be
    ‘Cause when I’m high
    The budget deficit
    Don’t bother me
    When life begins
    To be one long
    and confusing budget joke
    I take a big toke
    and all our budget cares
    Go up in smoke

    I take a big toke
    and all our budget cares
    Go up in smoke

  3. They should have only a number of slots allotted to open MJ businesses. Once those are filled, no more businesses should be able to open, until one closes shop and then the next on the list moves into place. Hopefully, they can put the tax dollars toward the City’s debt, in helping to alleviating the problem. I would tax them at 20%.

    • It was definitely interesting to see this list.. and sort of nice to see confirmation that I really was the first of the recent explosion of “retail” store fronts in San Jose. Unfortunately, the data on this list is not very accurate. There is at least one club, well known to the city of SJ, that is not on this list at all. Also, I do not try to hide myself in any way, yet my name isn’t listed with SJCBC, and it does not have SJCBC’s current address, which I know is up-to-date in the San Jose business tax system—I updated it myself months ago. I expect the true number is and additional 20 or more. Any way you look at it, it will be interesting to see what Scott Johnson’s next move will be.

    • 20% tax? 

      “Police and merchants say they’ve seen the clinics’ clients selling their pot to the dealers for a profit.”

      I’d recommend a 500% tax.

      It’s obvious that we must immediately fund a police presence outside the medicinal marijuana dispensaries to protect our most vulnerable, clinically ill from getting preyed upon by unscrupulous drug dealers.

      • I agree with you on the 500% tax, but I was trying to be realistic. Since they have to be here, which I prefer that they weren’t, I figured they should pay the price. 20% is a good tax amount.

        I worry about what this will turn in to. I know something is going to have to be done to keep it from going rampant. I, too, think that the dispensaries should be made to pay for police to be at the “clinics” during hours of operation.

  4. If police witnessed somebody reselling medicinal cannabis outside the collective, why didn’t they arrest them?  Show me actual numbers of how many have been arrested for this! 

    You know, when I travel the streets of my city and other California cities, everything looks the same to me as it always has.  I don’t see people stoned and laying in the streets.  People actually complain that it’s really difficult to tell if somebody is “high”.  If that’s the case, then what is the problem?

    The only “terrible thing” that is going on here, is that cannabis distribution is taking place, and opponents of the cannabis plant just hate to see it.  It’s not like any actual problems other than that are happening. But, if these people simply hate seeing collectives, then allow delivery services or rquire collectives to not have any signs that indicate what they do there.  Then they wouldn’t have to look at it.  Other than that, all these complaints are simply based on the complainers prejudice about cannabis, and nothing else.

  5. The problem with pills (aka Hilly Billy Heroin from Florida): Police say mother admits killing teen-aged children for being “mouthy”:

    No pot involved… but I bet she’s on all sorts of fun stuff from the Florida pharmacy… she is being treated of a “pre-existing medical condition” right now.

    Less pill! More pot! Pill kill! More pot!! Less pill!

    The P.I.G’s (People Ignoring Guidelines) who post all the BS on S.J.I. need to get it straight. The raid are needed at the Walgreens and “Pain Management” shops who hook people on legal HEROIN!!! yes HEROIN!!!!!!! “Both are opiates; both are addictive; both can cause death”

    San Jose need to do it right! A pot shop on every corner!!! and then FREE WEED FOR EVERYONE!! We can replace the sj “turd” with a pot farm, free for all residents!

  6. Marijuana is the safest drug with actual benefits for the user as opposed to alcohol which is dangerous, causes addiction, birth defects, and affects literally every organ in the body.  Groups are organizing all over the country to speak their minds on reforming pot laws.  I drew up a very cool poster for the cause which you can check out on my artist’s blog at  Drop in and let me know what you think!

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