San Jose Medical Marijuana Advocates Vow to Overturn New Rules

Pot supporters promise to go to ballot to overturn "de-facto ban."

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Jun 19, 2014  |  Updated 6:57 PM PDT
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San Jose's medical marijuana dispensaries are preparing to fight back against the city's new rules -- because if they don't, they'll all have to shut down, advocates claim. Scott Budman reports.

San Jose's medical marijuana dispensaries are preparing to fight back against the city's new rules -- because if they don't, they'll all have to shut down, advocates claim. Scott Budman reports.

San Jose's medical marijuana dispensaries are preparing to fight back against the city's new rules -- because if they don't, they'll all have to shut down, advocates claim.

The City Council this week gave final approval to a new, strict set of rules on medical marijuana dispensaries that severely limit where they can open and how they can do business. 

The rules are so strict that most of the city's 80 or so pot shops will have to close, according to industry representatives, who have vowed to overturn the new rules by ballot initiative.

The new rules require concentrates and edibles to be made "on-site" by the club -- which means saying goodbye to oils and to "dabs," which require an extraction process. They also ban the sale of outdoor marijuana and ban people aged 18 to 20 from "working at or even getting medication from" the pot stores that remain, according to the Silicon Valley Cannabis Coalition.

Dave Hodges, a cannabis club operator, says that his group and others plan to raise $1 million in the next month to get 50,000 valid signatures from voters to overturn the rules at the ballot.

San Jose nets over $5.4 million a year from taxes on medical marijuana sales, according to advocates. With a tax at 10 percent, that means sales of over $54 million a year -- and all gone, if the rules aren't overturned, they say.

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