San Jose Weighs Medical Pot Clinics

Taking lessons from Oakland

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 13: A worker at the Alternative Herbal Health Services cannabis dispensary packages medicinal marijuana July 13, 2006 in San Francisco. San Francisco city planners are deciding July 13 if they will issue a permit to allow Kevin Reed to open the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary right in the middle of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area, a popular tourist destination. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    They're all over the Bay Area -- from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. But medical marijuana patients in San Jose looking to fill a prescription won't have much luck finding a place to do it in the South Bay.

    Now a San Jose councilman is floating a plan to make the city more welcoming for cannabis clinics, helping patients and the city's wallet at the same time.

    San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed will hear a proposal Wednesday that would allow dispensaries to open in the city with strict rules and tax regulations.

    City Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio's proposal was inspired by laws in other Bay Area cities.

    "Allowing medical use of cannabis within city borders will bring additional revenue," Oliverio told the Mercury News. Taxes from the pot clubs would go toward improving police services and road maintenance.

    Oakland voters recently passed an ordinance that will tax medical marijuana businesses. It's expected to bring nearly $300,000 a year to the city. San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mikarimi says his city could also greatly benefit from a cannabis tax.

    San Jose has one cannabis club in operation so far -- the San Jose Cannabis Buyer's Collective. Its manager, Gus Donowho, welcomes the ordinance, even though he knows it would increase his taxes.

    "What I see is legitimacy of our business," Donowho said. The club serves about 1,300 patients.

    Voters in two states Tuesday chose to make pot a part of their politics. Maine became the fifth state in the nation to join the pot revolution and allow medical marijuana dispensaries.

    Colorado voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a measure to legalize pot for anyone over 21 -- for medical reasons and beyond.