San Jose could soon see the number of medical marijuana businesses in the city drop from 82 to single digits.
That would come as welcome news to the city council and even some pot club advocates.
The council voted late Tuesday night to adopt regulations to restrict where dispensaries could operate. Many of those restrictions, which go into effect in 90 days, would be around schools, libraries and recovery facilities. The restrictions around residential areas however, will go into effect immediately.
Nearly a third of these pot clubs operation adjacent to residential neighborhoods, so these restrictions could put them out of business.
The All American Cannabis Club (A2C2) near Coleman Avenue.
Peggy Owens, 68, buys her medical marijuana at A2C2 and says she likes the fact that is close to her home as well as shops and other businesses.
“I need the medicine for severe arthritis,” she said. “And I feel comfortable that I can walk here, go outside, and not feel like I’m going to get ‘jumped.’”
Owner Dave Hodges wonders what areas will be considered residential.
“The area is light industrial with businesses and homes in it. So what is a ‘residence’ and how will that play out in what the city decides to do,” he asks.
A neighbor who lives in the neighborhood near the club, Cookies, says he’s 100 percent behind the crackdown because of the children and schools in the area.
Even some medical marijuana advocates say regulations are needed because of several clubs operating in violation of city standards.
“Many came to San Jose to make a quick buck and didn’t care about the consequences” said longtime advocate and consultant Danielle Pirslin.
She said some set up knowing San Jose was waiting for state and federal guidelines and “knew they’d be shut down eventually.”
Pirslin, and other advocates, say they fully expect the vast majority of clubs to close once all restrictions start being enforced.
Hodges predicts only a handful of clubs will survive the restrictions.
The assistant director of San Jose’s Code Enforcement unit, Laurel Preuetti, told KTVU that her department has already been meeting with the City Attorney to develop its enforcement procedures.
She said they also plan to consult with the District Attorney’s office.
Preuetti said many property and club owners will get letters ‘soon’ detailing how closures will be handled.