The hot topic at Tuesday’s City Council meeting will be medical marijuana, and a soon-to-be administered regulatory program that has critics on all sides.
Most collectives have said from the start that the city is being too heavy-handed in its approach to capping the number of collectives to 10, when there are believed to be more than 100 currently operating. In contrast, some city councilmembers have said the restrictions on the number of collectives allowed and where they can be located doesn’t go far enough.
After reviewing the Planning Commission’s recommendations from a July 27 meeting, which included allowing off-site cultivation of cannabis and increasing the cap to 25, the San Jose city administration’s memo appears to have changed little from previous council direction, and in some cases gone a step further in restricting where collectives can operate.
Police Chief Chris Moore, Angeligue Gaeta, an assistant to City Manager Debra Figone, and Joseph Howerdel, the director of planning, building and code enforcement, signed a memo recommending that the cap of 10 remain, on-site cultivation be mandatory and permits be granted on a first-come, first-served basis dependent on meeting all registration requirements.
“At this time, the Administration is aware that some Collectives continue to believe that a cap on the number of Collectives that can locate within the City is not necessary,” the memo states. “Some Collectives also disagree with the requirement that all cultivation of medical marijuana remain on-site. While the Administration will continue to work with the Collectives during Program implementation to address their concerns, in the event that any Collective remains dissatisfied with a component of the Program and challenges the legality of that component in a court of law, the Administration will work with the Council to explore other options available to the City. Those options will include, if necessary, a ban on Collectives while the Council determines whether it wants to continue to expend City resources on developing a Program that is ultimately acceptable to every Collective.”
The administration’s memo suggests allowing edible products and balms, salves and lotions to be made available, but only if the products are manufactured on-site. That detail was neither part of the council nor the Planning Commission’s recommendations.
Additionally, the memo suggests further restrictions on where collectives can locate by barring commercial pedestrian areas, ground-floor office space in downtown, shopping malls, enterprise zones or other incentive zones. This expands on the recommendations by the council as well as the Planning Commission.
A full spreadsheet can be found at the end of the memo, showing where the council, Planning Commission and administration stand on each issue.
City Attorney Rich Doyle also put out a memo detailing potential legal fights that could come from the new regulatory program. One key detail that will be changed is the city’s language regarding collectives. Instead of referring to collectives as doing “sales” of cannabis, the city will now refer to these actions as “transfers.”
Other items to be discussed Tuesday include: adopting district boundaries based on the 2010 census; looking at Grand Jury responses about local emergency response systems, and the value in re-hiring people already receiving pensions; accepting a federal grant to fund the design and construction of a new water recycling center; and finalizing advertising arrangements for HP Pavilion, which might not be going by that name for long.