SJ Shuts Down Businesses - As Long As They're Pot Clubs

It's the law, but that doesn't mean San Jose has to like it. The City Council and mayor on Tuesday voted to shut down up to 130 businesses, the pot clubs that won't fit in the city's new "10 clubs only" limit

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Sep 14, 2011  |  Updated 9:43 PM PDT
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In the south bay, dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries are vowing to fight a decision by the San Jose City Council to limit their number to just ten.  NBC Bay Area's Monte Francis reports from San Jose.

In the south bay, dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries are vowing to fight a decision by the San Jose City Council to limit their number to just ten. NBC Bay Area's Monte Francis reports from San Jose.

San Jose city officials aren't afraid of taking anti-business stances and saying no to tax revenue -- as long as the businesses are medical marijuana dispensaries.

An estimate 140 dispensaries exist in San Jose today, paying up to $1 million in taxes directly to the city, according to the San Jose Mercury News. But city officials approved on Tuesday a plan to whittle the amount of dispensaries allowed in town down to 10, the newspaper reported.

The clubs will also have to move to certain restricted commercial or industrial areas, and grow all of their own product on-site, the newspaper reported. That, the dispensaries say, will almost certainly attract attention from federal law enforcement, making the city rules a virtual death sentence.
"We'll have something in place that will make it impossible for us to operate," said Dave Hodges, founder of the All American Cannabis Club, one of the first marijuana dispensaries in the city, founded almost two years ago.

For Mayor Chuck Reed, the rules are a delicate balance between the feds' outright kibosh on marijuana and Proposition 215, which in 1996 allowed the use of cannabis for seriously-ill Californians.

Reed and seven other council members voted 8-3 to uphold the  proposal, rejecting other council members' suggestions that the club limit be raised to 25, and that dispensaries be allowed to grow marijuana off-site.

Marijuana patient advocates said that if the city doesn't change its mind and pass something a little kinder, they'll sue or go to the ballot box to get the regulations overturned. Reed countered with a punch to the gut of his own, saying that if the citizens want to get unruly, the city will ban medical marijuana altogether.

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