SJ Moves Forward on Medi-Pot Tax Plan

Measure goes to council again before heading to ballot

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010  |  Updated 7:27 AM PDT
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There are about 50 medical cannabis clubs in San Jose.

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San Jose is a step closer to collecting taxes from medical marijuana collectives -- or at least considering it.

The City Council on Tuesday night approved a recommendation by Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio to put an ordinance back on the plate in a couple months that could eventually lead to taxing and regulating medical cannabis clubs in the city.

If the council approves the measure in June, it would head to city voters in the November election, just as Caifornia voters will consider lifting the prohibition on marijuana for recreational purposes.

The official vote on Oliverio's proposal Tuesday was 6-4, with Madison Nguyen, Nora Campos, Kansen Chu and Nancy Pyle opposed. Pyle later said she intended to vote with the majority, but the official vote had not yet been updated, according to the Mercury News.

Oliverio used Oakland as an example of how San Jose could benefit from taxes on medical marijuana collectives. Last year, Oakland became the first city in the U.S. to leverage a tax on medi-pot clubs and expects to collect $500,000 from just one of the four city-approved medical marijuana dispensaries, Oliverio noted.

Berkeley is also weighing the possibility of taxing medi-pot clubs.

There are about 20-30 medical marijuana clubs operating in San Jose.

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