The vote is in, and it’s not looking good for medical marijuana dispensaries or patients in San Jose. According to San Jose Inside, the City Council voted 7-3 on Tuesday to severely limit where dispensaries can operate.
This vote had been expected for some time, and voters in last week’s election were offerred a special treat from dispensaries in an effort to sway public opinion. What this means, however, is that only about 10 clubs will remain open in San Jose. The new rules state that they need to be 1,000 feet from schools, parks or anywhere children gather, as well as 500 feet from drug rehab clinics and 150 feet from homes. That doesn’t leave a lot of room to operate.
The vote also includes requirements on how dispensaries that will remain open can operate. They must have 24-hour surveillance, stay open from 9am to 9pm and are not allowed sell any candy- flavored products. All of their product must also be grown in or around Santa Clara county to ensure it isn’t coming from any sort of drug cartel. Employees must be at least 18 years-old and not carry a criminal record. Customers also can’t inhale while on the premises.
This is an obvious setback to the medical marijuana industry in California, just as all out legalization is becoming favored nationwide after Washington and Colorado voters decided to legalize it. This may not be the end of the story, however, as marijuana lobbyists like James Anthony and Dave Hodges, head of the Silicon Valley Cannabis Club, seek to put initiatives in the November ballot for loosening the restrictions.
“For the past five years the council has taken the wrong approach to cannabis clubs,” Hodges said. “Creating regulations that make it impossible to operate does not move San Jose forward.”