After the San Jose City Council recently voted to make it nearly impossible to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in the city, stakeholders in the South Bay city’s medical marijuana industry are fighting back.
In an effort to gain the 100,000 signatures for a referendum, the Silicon Valley Cannabis Coalition will be offering free doctor evaluations and free medical marijuana to patients. The coalition will also be staging an protest similar to the Occupy movement at San Jose City Hall until the Friday deadline to collect signatures, according to San Jose Inside.
With 30,000 vouchers for free medical evaluations and 45,000 free grams of marijuana, the Coalition is hoping to stop the new regulations before they begin.
John Lee, head of the coalition says “City polling proved that over 80 percent of San Jose residents do not want to ban collectives. So instead of banning collectives outright, the mayor decided to make it impossible to operate them. That’s what we’re fighting against.”
While the ordinance doesn’t actually ban pot clubs, it puts severe restrictions on zoning regulations and and how clubs can operate. Many, including All-American Cannabis Club owner Dave Hodges concede that it makes it nearly impossible for those who can keep their doors open to continue operations.
“While the mayor claims there are ‘hundreds of potential locations,’” Hodges said, “the fact is, even in the best case scenario, it would be hard, if not impossible, for anyone to operate a club under these new regulations.”
Many also believe that this will lead to hundreds of lost jobs and will strengthen the black market for cannabis.