Pot Club Cap Could Increase to 25

The Planning Commission is advising the City Council to take a less rigid approach in capping medical marijuana collectives.

Included in recommendations voted on in July, the planning commission suggests a cap of 25 collectives instead of the council’s preferred number of 10. As of this spring, there were more than 100 medical marijuana collectives operating in San Jose.

Also, under the commission’s recommendations, collectives would be allowed to go from two to three per district, and cultivation of marijuana would be allowed on- and off-site rather than strictly inside a collective.

Planning commissioner Norm Kline told the Mercury News, “There’s clearly a need for these collectives and dropping them to 10 would limit access. It makes more sense to offer more access.”

What remains unclear is if the city will still take the first-come, first-served approach that has been criticized heavily by many inside the medical marijuana industry, as well as by councilmembers Pierluigi Oliverio, Ash Kalra and Donald Rocha. Many are worried that the city won’t be getting the best collectives, but city officials have admitted there is not enough manpower or expertise to go through each collective’s application.

While Mayor Chuck Reed’s idea to to do a permit system is no longer an option, the threat of lawsuits from collectives left out in the cold remains.

The council will reportedly take up the matter again on Sept. 13.

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


  1. > Also, under the commission’s recommendations, collectives would be allowed to go from two to three per district, and cultivation of marijuana would be allowed on- and off-site rather than strictly inside a collective.

    Maybe the planning commission should re-read some of Joseph Stalin’s old five year plans.

    My recollection is that it’s just not enough to have collective farms in San Jose. You also need to have tractors.

    San Jose needs more tractors in its Five Year Plan.

  2. The Planning commission’s plan sounds like a reasonable compromise between the poorly-crafted original ordinance issued by the city staff, and the current “wild west” of unregulated dispensaries.

    However, I do not buy the argument that city staff lacks the manpower and expertise to sift through about 100 applications to determine which collectives meet minimum standards. That sounds like a red herring from a City Manager and staff with a history of opposition to voter-approved marijuana laws and taxes.

    If the city needs ideas on who to lay off next, I have a dandy suggestion…

  3. So how long has Norman Kline been the Planning Kommissar?
    Last I knew he was a humble guest columnist here on SJI. It was pretty obvious from his writings that he was a communist. He’ll fit right in at that forbidding edifice known as City Hall.

    • I’ve been a SJ Planning Commissioner for about 18 months.  That’s about 12 months longer than I’ve been writing articles for SJI.

      As for being a ‘communist’.  I consider myself a moderate with a slight libertarian bent, which means I get $&!T on by both sides.  I’m obviously overreacting to such an anal blast now.

      • > Included in recommendations voted on in July, the planning commission suggests a cap of 25 collectives instead of the council’s preferred number of 10. As of this spring, there were more than 100 medical marijuana collectives operating in San Jose.
        . . .
        > I consider myself a moderate with a slight libertarian bent. . . .


        You’re the first Libertarian I’ve ever heard of who thinks the government has any business imposing a “cap” on the number of any kind of businesses allowed to operate in a city.

        What denomination of Libertarianism would that be?

        • Sorry,  I said I had a slight Libertarian bent, not a full fledged party member!

          Besides, you quoted what the Planning Commission approved, not necessarily what I would have done if I had absolute power.  Part of governing is making consensus.  I think 25 was better then ten.  We recommended an increase in the number of sites, the number of sites within each district, the number of zones they can be established in and the ability to do off-site growing as well as onsite growing.

          I’m very proud of the hard work the PC did on this and how serious they took the task, but it was the PC conclusions and recommendations and not mine. 


        • > Sorry,  I said I had a slight Libertarian bent, not a full fledged party member!


          Even a “slight Libertarian” would have had a severe allergic reaction at a Planning Committee meeting.

          Typical symptons would include hysterical ranting, bodily convulsions, foaming at the mouth, and seizures.

          I pronounce you free of any Libertarian tendancies.

          Go forth and spend taxpayer money with a clear conscience and free of any health risks.

      • >  I consider myself a moderate


        “Words have meaning.”

        What, in your mind, is the meaning of the word “moderate”?

        I’ll give you first crack.  Than I’ll ask you to respond to Rush Limbaugh’s interpretation of “moderate”.

        • Words do have meanings, unfortunately the meanings of words tend to change over time. 

          During the French Revolution I would have probably sat in the Estates General between the LEFT radical republican secular revolutionaries and the RIGHT French Royal Monarchists. 

          I would probably also have been the first to loose my head. 

          In todays terms I would probably say I’m a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. 

          Fiscal conservative meaning that I strongly believe a balanced budget is critical to our economic well being (I’d take the 80% revenue cuts and 20% tax increases if they were real). 

          Social liberal because I believe in individual rights and liberty over government intrusions in almost all personal affairs of an adult that doesn’t intrude on another person’s rights.
          There are social costs to some of those personal choices that can be dealt with through education and use taxes.   

          I’m supposed I’m a moderate because I believe in rational secular decision making to solve problems and that limited democratic government combined with a strong free market (not controlled by monopolies) is the best system in the world.  China might be attempting a rude awakening for us on that front.

          So I’m a moderate.  Or, maybe I’ve lost my head.

          Rush who?

        • > Social liberal because I believe in individual rights and liberty over government intrusions in almost all personal affairs of an adult that doesn’t intrude on another person’s rights.

          This used to be the definition of a “classical liberal” a la Adam Smith and Edmund Burke.

          A “social liberal” is a person who wants to improve society by spending other other people’s money to “do good”.

          > There are social costs to some of those personal choices that can be dealt with through education and use taxes.

          There are particularly high social costs to the widespread use drugs and homebrew patent medicines.  I would include “cannabis”.  The amount of education necessary to offset the social costs is unachievable.  The amount of taxes need to pay for the social costs are uncollectable.  The least bad option is simply to ban or severely restrict such drugs.

          > China might be attempting a rude awakening for us on that front.

          China is still a strong-arm authoritarian regime, and is still trying keep a tight reign on its market economy.  The regime is fully capable of monumentally stupid and mindless policies.  Check into the absurd Chinese Ghost Cities:  completely unoccupied “cities” built in the middle of nowhere providing housing for 65 million people.  Almost enough to give urban planners a bad name.

          Rush H. Limbaugh’s definition of a moderate:  “The most gutless choice possible.”

          A “moderate” is a person who doesn’t know what to think, can’t make distinctions, and can’t make up his mind.  So a moderate just splits the difference, hopes for the best, and expects to be praised for “being open to all points of view”.

          When King Solomon proposed to slice the baby in half, the reaction of moderates was probaly: “Go ahead.  It sounds fair to me.”

  4. Vices, land use and zoning, revenue and politics all play into how this new policy will be implemented.  Social norms suggest that pot clubs can be a nuisance (this is popular and political perception and not necessarily reality.)

    The notion is that they need to be segregated into certain kinds of areas like that zoned for light industrial or commercial (think strip malls with smog check stores, auto mechanics, glaziers and the like.)  Rather than put it in a strip mall with a starbucks and jamba juice, let’s put it out of sight of the casual shopper, thus removing the “vice” from impressionable kids and keeping the undesirables who must surely linger around these establishments from polluting our public thoroughfares.

    Same kind of reasoning has been used to segregate and close places like Alano clubs, which are gathering spots for alcoholics in recovery.

    So what’s a vice and blight?  Back in the day it used to be the tannery with its awful smell that definitely made in unpleasant to live nearby.  The also considered Saloons to be shady and forced them to locate all in one part of town as they attracted gamblers, drunks, whores and other unsavioury types that detracted from a good moral community.

    These days, booze is king with liquor peddled anywhere and everywhere from boutique wine shops to corner markets that specialize in malt liquor and such.  Part of the effort to retake downtown involved addressing the concentration of liquor stores in the poor parts of town, and the city did a good job of limiting permits and de-concentrating them.

    I’m thinking the pot club debate is going in the same direction.  They don’t want them on front street, but they also don’t want to stick all of them in one part of town.  It kind of makes sense, but its problematic moving from 100 down to 25 or 10.  Who wins and who looses?  What if we allowed 10 card rooms in SJ with one allowed in each council district?  There’d be a lot of competition for those permits.  I’m afraid that’s how this is playing out.

    How many cable tv franchises are allowed in SJ? One, its a city granted monopoly that generates both revenue and campaign contributions.  How many garbage haulers/recyclers? One, and ditto, big money for both the city coffers and campaign war chests.  Card rooms?  Two, and ditto. 

    Could we limit the number of coffee houses, gas stations or fast food outlets?  Probably not as folks don’t perceive this as a vice that requires the same level of extra scrutiny, regulation and control.

    Anyway, I think the permit process could combine free market prinicipals and allow for an open biddig for at least one of the two permits in each council district with a veto on unsavory bidders (like ATF and others do with liquor license applicants who have a checkered past.)  Do a five year permit and let it get bid up to the market rate.  Maybe make it that the same people/corporation can’t operate more than 2 of the permited outlets in the city’s 10 districts, but let the free market kind of sort it out.  And give them a little latitude on location just like they do with liquor stores, where a nice outlet could indeed be in a strip mall with starbucks or jamba juice if the property owner is willing to rent to them.

    In terms of blight and vice stuff, I suspect pot clubs are just like night clubs, “an attractive nuisance” that can be mitigated with some rules for security, hours of operation, etc.  Seems like they figured out how to accomodate card clubs just fine and while there’s some loan sharking and minor organized crime stuff around them, its nothing like opponents portray.  I suspect pot collectives are the same mixed bag with most day to day users just looking for hassle free access to something the state voters say they have a right to for medical purposes.

    • I agree with the gist of your comments regarding the relationship between card clubs and pot clubs. However with card clubs we have only had 2 to deal with. The larger the number the more difficult to keep track of problems and crack down. Ten is too many and 25 is worse.

  5. I was attacked tonight by Ariel Loveland, Executive Director of Elemental Wellness Pot Club in San Jose, California

    Please share, republish, and let everyone you know what knucklehead this guy is. What I’m going to write is truthful, there were many witness’s. Police reports have been filed, witness statements taken. Everyone involved is pressing charges.

    So let’s begin.


    This week we had implemented the new RFID and Webcam system at 7 Bamboo. This allows users to take a photo with their account (also so we know if a person is supposed to be singing a song) Mr. Lovelands wife had chosen “Show Me Love” by “Robin S”

    When I looked at the picture with the song, it wasn’t Mr Lovelands wife so I skipped the song. She was upset, but after looking into it for a bit, I realized that she had been handed a test ID with my picture on it. Realizing the mistake, I promptly re-queued her song and slid it up to next.


    Myself and several regulars were puzzled by this, because we all knew it was the right song. She was so wasted, she couldn’t hear the music, nor could she read the lyric screen. Another friend and I double checked that it was the right selection via our cellphones (we looked the song up on youtube, and sure enough she had the right song)

    So instead of arguing, I went outside. A few minutes later someone I would call one of our “Whale” customers was calling my name from the inside, and motioning me to go in(whale is a casino term for a customer with deep pockets)

    Standing next to him was Mr Loveland’s wife. She started trying to argue with me again that the wrong song had played. I told her it was the right song, and seeing how wasted she was, I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere with her so I started trying to walk outside.

    For those of you familiar with the back entrance at 7 Bamboo, it’s a narrow hallway. She blocked my exit by placing her arms and legs in a giant X pattern, and would not let me pass, still trying to bait me into arguing with her.

    I snapped. I told her, “Well, maybe if you ate some of that makeup, you’d be pretty on the inside too!”

    She reached over with her right hand, grabbed my stomach, and told me, “You’re going to get it” I brushed past her, went outside and sat in my chair where I check ID. I faced the parking lot, and had no idea what was coming behind me at the back door.

    “WHAT DID YOU DO DO MY WIFE?” Was all I heard. I turned to see who it was and WHAM right in the kisser, complete sucker punch. I had no time to react or see what happened. I did manage to get a REAL good look at him though.

    Closeup on the shiner http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/281454_10150249288165216_532775215_7997003_4284222_n.jpg

    Punch 2 hit my chin, and made it swell a bit.

    Split Lip http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/215129_10150249288100216_532775215_7997002_7800828_n.jpg

    Punch glanced my eye.

    Even though I was down, I grabbed his leg and buried my head in his chest. No fucking way was he gonna get another headshot. He flailed at my back a few times, then JR, Chris Ghione, John and Stacy started peeling him off me.

    Wrist cut from girl trying to prevent me from dialing 911. http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/281804_10150249288260216_532775215_7997004_6864534_n.jpg

    With regulars backing me up I started making my way towards the door. Folks were yelling “CALL 911” I was bleeding from my lip, so I go to grab my cell phone and dial when a 3rd friend of Mr Loveland (a shorter woman) tried clawing my phone from my hand. Another regular (John) peeled her off me and she punched him 2 times in the face.

    JR and Chris dragged me inside and made a human wall at the door. “ROB STAY INSIDE” I walked back out, John got me a wet rag to wipe up the blood coming from my split lip. Emi was on the phone with 911, I grabbed it and started talking to dispatch.

    “Did you get a license plate?”


    Chris and JR booked out of the parking lot like lighting. They managed to grab a plate number and a car color and make. They came back with the info. Emi figured out that Ariel (poor guy, if my mom had named me after the little mermaid I might be high strung too) had left his credit card at the bar.

    Some of the other folks had worked for him before (folks that had been subcontracted to work, but Mr Loveland failed to pay them the entire amount owed) They were more than happy to ID him for the police.

    Mr Loveland.. You will read this. Within 24 hours this will be reposted by my many many friends. Maybe you should ask around. You sucker punched a guy with more political and police friends than you can possibly imagine.

    Let’s count up the charges.

    Mr Loveland-

    Felony Battery

    Mrs. Loveland-

    Felony False Imprisonment and Battery (preventing my exit from the building and clawing my stomach)

    3rd woman – Felony interfering with an emergency call

    Of course, any felony act like this bars you from owning or operating a dispensary. Was a karaoke song really worth losing your business over? I hope so.

    Adding the SJPD case number look it up. 11-218-0082

    Edit 2 More pics, 10 hours later, now with more bruising and swelling! http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/229632_10150249511110216_532775215_7999426_2369431_n.jpg


    http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/281789_10150249526600216_532775215_7999654_6531613_n.jpg—bruise is showing up under the hairline on my left temple

    • Sorry this happened to you Rob.  Alcohol increases the liklihood of these incidents, as your no doubt aware from being in the business. Drunks are well known to “blow up” suddenly and violently.

      Remember when the Murky News created the downtown drunk in public controversy? SJPD booked so-called harmless drunks for a minor misdemeanor, instead of leaving them to later commit felonies in their drunken state of stupidity. SJPD wasn’t appreciated then, and there’s less support now.

      Here we are, a few years later… cops getting laid off.  Don’t worry- Chuck Reed says it won’t affect public safety.

        • The editor had to make sure this was real. I can’t blame him, Mr Loveland and his wife are high profile, wealthy people.

          Although I missed his email asking for more proof in the morning, I already made it my mission today to drop by the metro offices.  I dropped off the police report for Dan, but when I called Eric at 6, we chatted for a bit and he found the copy I had left Dan.

          Here’s a copy for you readers, witness names blanked out.


          Today I was at the DA’s office (got the number of Jeff’s secretary) the police station, getting a copy of the report, an ambulance chasers office, my dentists office, and city hall.  These felons fled the scene, are still at large, and I’m going to recommend to council and the mayor tomorrow at open forum that the city draft a resolution that if any officer of a pot club is suspect in a violent crime, that their shop be shuttered until they turn themselves in.

          I want to comment here, just so people know how “anti-violent” I am at 7 Bamboo.

          A year or two ago a group of young Asian men tried coming in. Some didn’t have ID, and I had to turn them away. They all grouped together and started calling me racist and yelling racial epitaphs at me.

          They wouldn’t leave when asked, so I called 911 and stood my ground at the door. They started going mass hysteria on me, riling themselves up, showing displays of agression, each one getting bolder and bolder. They would even lean over and yell into the mouthpiece of the phone in my hand “HE’S A RACIST” (*note* if anyone is missing the irony of this, I work in a Japanese owned, run bar, in Japantown, for the last 10 years)

          Finally they started spitting on me. I just held my ground more.

          In a flash of light the SJPD helicopter swooped overhead shining it’s beam of justice down on these hooligans. Officers responded. I wasn’t hurt, and the officers were hinting for me to not press charges, so I went along with it.

          I never have, and I never will hit anyone over words (or even spit)

          I made a good analogy to Eric and Dan (metro) about all this. Sorry for the bit of taunting Dan. 

          We here on SJI know that SJI/Metro had published 2 “satire” articles on me during my d9 campaign.  I just convinced myself it was the Dean Martin Roast and laughed it off.

          Year later Dan Pulcrano visited me at 7 Bamboo.  Did I haul off and punch him? Hell no, would I ever?  Hell no.

          Bar owners are expected to hold themselves a degree or two above the average business owner.  Get a suspicion of felony (like battery) ABC shutters your place for 30 days pending investigation.  Here’s a quote from the pentalty schedule.

          Licensee or Employee Resisting Arrest or Interfering With 35 day suspension
          Investigation on The Premises – 24200(a) B&P & 148 PC to revocation

          citation: http://www.abc.ca.gov/trade/Penalty Guidelines.pdf

          Let’s look at some other things that wouldn’t be a bad idea to draft in too…

          Undisclosed Ownership – 23300 & 23355 B&P:
          Hidden owner qualified 15 day suspension
          Indefinite until
          ownership corrected
          Hidden owner not qualified Revocation
          Hidden owner-priority license Revocation

          Well, there goes all the “secret” mafia and cartel investors (not accusing elemental, but I know of several others)

          We can also throw this in there.

          Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude – 24200(d) B&P Revocation

          I don’t see why we shouldn’t hold the pot clubs owners to a lower standard than liquor license ownership. 

          This isn’t the first time I’ve said this either.  I think I might have said it a few months back on SJI.

          Anyways.. I honestly wish this had never happened.  I honestly wish Mrs Loveland had simply walked away from my offensive comment laughing, instead of sicking her husband on me like an attack dog.

          Oh.. Just for “therapeutic” reasons, my bro and I wrote a song “satiring” that night. 


    • But is this really the place for airing out your life’s troubles?  And, what does this have to do with the issue of more pot clubs?  If the assailant was running a day care would be restrict day care licenses based upon the actions of one day care operator?  I fail to see why this post is even here.  There are assholes in every profession.

      • >>If the assailant was running a day care would be restrict day care licenses based upon the actions of one day care operator?

        If my day care operator went out, got wasted, and beat someone up, I certainly wouldn’t want them to watch my kids, let alone the kids of other people.  (and criminal background checks are done on day care licensees, those with violence are denied)

        You made a very bad point there, and you’re trying to trivialize and downplay what happened. 

        Before people start painting me out to be anti-pot club, let me start out by saying folks that know me personally, know I support the movement. I’ll leave it at that.

        I wish this had never happened. I’m a doorman because I need 7 Bamboo. You see, I develop karaoke jukeboxes.I gave up my IT career long ago to chase after my form of “art” which is a beautiful construction of wires, code, displays and various other technologies that are the components in my Jukebox system. I guess you could call me the true definition of an ENT. I chase my dream I guess you can say. I don’t make anything at 7b (about 10k@year) 7b is my only paying install of this system.

        I work there nights, afterwards I go home and work on my dream a bit. I have a wife and 2 kids, it’s impossible to work on code/art/systems with all of them awake and needing my attention. During the day I watch my children, and when my wife gets home we tag off and I go to work. Our kids are awesome, and I’m thankful to be alive at this moment. My wife would have had to sell the house to pay for day care had I not had people that cared about my life enough to pull me out of the dogpile that consisted of Ariel and his 2 female cohorts.

        You know what my wish is? I wish Mr Loveland had walked out, turned to me and said, “Excuse me, but my wife is upset over her karaoke song, is there any way to resolve this?”

        That’s not what happened.

        And in regards to posting on the internets… Well, he took first shot obviously, and my friends and I had a knee jerk reaction. You can let Mr Loveland know that I will no longer be the french from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

        Unfortunately I have no control over what happens at this point. It is a criminal investigation, the police are not going to stop even if I told them to.

        Leaders don’t run. Some leaders and public figures sometimes fall from grace. This happens.Look at Paris Hilton. How about Richard Nixon?Real leaders will admit mistakes when made, and do everything to remedy the situation (Recent example would be Ash Kalra’s DUI, he didn’t fight it, he admitted guilt, that’s a man I really admire)

        Your post doesn’t indicate this at all.. Why?

        Let’s reverse roles here,

        Say I owned 7 Bamboo. My wife goes into Elemental and started complaining “This isn’t the pot I ordered IT’S BUNK AS SHIT!” after you and several staff inspected it and concluded it was the pot she ordered. It was obvious to you (and staff) that they were all wasted out their minds, she had already smoked it, and there was no convincing them otherwise. Let’s say you don’t have bad-ass security to simply escort them out, and your usual MO is to simply walk away and hope they blow off steam.

        Let’s say my wife comes to me, frantic, tells me “GO BEAT UP ARIEL” and I rush into elemental. Ariel is sitting with his back to me in a folding chair and I start swinging first and asking questions later.

        I have no doubt that your camp would do as much as possible to call the metro, call the merc, post on forums, and try to bring as much attention to it as possible. I could see the front page of the metro now, with Ariels bruised face and the headline, “FORMER COUNCIL CANDIDATE AND OWNER OF 7 BAMBOO BEATS UP POT CLUB OWNER” In accordance with the laws set forth by the Alcohol Board of California, my bar would be shuttered the next day… Because bar owners are expected to follow a “code of conduct”, even when outside the establishment.

        Let’s focus on “code of conduct” for a minute…

        As a politician, I learned you don’t even want to fart in someones direction. You follow an unspoken code of conduct, handle everything with diplomacy and grace, even when insulted. You never ever EVER under any conditions try to win an argument with violence. If you can’t win an argument or debate, or laugh off an insult, you’re better off just walking away.

        Speaking of diplomacy, as long as you promise to not sucker punch me in the face, and come alone, you’re more than welcome to come talk to me. No harm will come to you, nobody will harass you.

        Let’s be civil though. This is a public forum. What he did to me was bammer. (both in trees language, and literally)

        Yours Truly,
        Robert Cortese

  6. What, we want to imitate Oakland? 25 pot houses are too many—more addiction, more crime and a greater cost to the public coffers. What are these guys smoking?

  7. Have pot club owners bid on 25 – pot club 5 year Franchise licenses if they meet qualifications – no past drug felonies, check owners and all employees, clean criminal / domestic violence record etc like state does alcohol licenses

    Outsource pot club franchise, background and licensing to remove politics from process and it will be less expensive than city staff

    San Jose with pot club franchise fees, security inspections and sales taxes could control and make millions

    Going from 100 to 25 should be easy after background, criminal checks and franchise fees costs

    An medical majurina user can still grow their own or have friends grow for them so stop the ” were hurting people who need medical marjuana’ bs

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