Help may be on the way to bring down San Jose's budget deficit.
That is if the San Jose City Council approves a proposed ordinance in June that would allow a limited number of medical cannabis collectives and impose an additional tax called the "cannabis business tax" on them to help support city services.
City Councilmembers took the first step Tuesday night approving 6-4 a recommendation by Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio. Mayor Chuck Reed wanted the city to wait taking action until November when voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use. But Reed ended up supporting Oliverio's recommendation after the councilman modified his proposal allowing flexibilty on where to allow the collectives and how to tax them.
More than 50 cannabis collectives operate in San jose. They support regulation to prevent shady operations from popping up.
"Have a set of rules to follow," Luke Coleman, the executive director at the Purple Elephant Cannabis Co-Op in San Jose, said. "We ourselves already follow a strict set of rules."
Oliverio is confident San Jose will benefit from the new tax dollars from the medical cannabis collectives.
Not everyone is happy with the proliferation of these collectives. Neighbors like Julie Engelbrecht, who lives next to the Purple Elephant, is angry a collective is right next door to her home.
"This does not belong next to schools, next to day cares, next to parks, and next to residential homes," Engelbrecht said.
If the Council approves the ordinance in June, San Jose voters will then be asked to approve a tax on the collectives in November.