The San Jose City Council Tuesday debated strict new limitations on medical marijuana dispensaries.
The regulations included banning pot clubs within 1,000 feet of a school, library, church or community center. The regulations would also ban them 500 feet within a drug rehab center and 150 feet from a home.
Medical marijuana supporters say these restrictions would make 99 percent of the city off limits and result in a de-facto ban.
“It will put almost every collective in the city of San Jose out of business,” said Douglas Chloupek, co-founder of MedMar Healing Center downtown.
Chloupek said he supports reasonable regulations that would reign in problematic pot clubs.
“We need positive regulations for the industry,” Chloupek said. “To get rid of the bad actors, only support those who are helping patients and truly dispensing medicine.”
Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio is pushing for incremental changes to regulate the growing industry.
“Let’s have a buffer between collectives and residential, close all of those facilities and once they are closed come back to council and continue to use our land use authority to get to a number to somewhere it needs to be,” Oliverio said.
There are currently 82 dispensaries actively operating in San Jose.
City leaders approved similar restrictions in 2011, only to have them later overturned by voters.
Medical marijuana advocates said they would gather signatures for another referendum if the new rules are approved.