San Jose Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Face Tough New Rules – San Jose Mercury News

They said the city’s roughly 80 weed businesses were also destroying the character of suburban neighborhoods, attracting crime and blight. “I think we came up with something that protects our residents,” Councilman Pete Constant said, while still “providing enough space for dispensaries to operate.” While 60 percent of respondents in a city-commissioned poll earlier this year wanted pot shops regulated, only 16 percent favored an outright ban already adopted by about 200 California cities. But a ban is exactly what will happen, marijuana store owners say, as the new regulations will make it virtually impossible to do business in San Jose. The requirements force pot shops to grow all weed in or next to Santa Clara County, limit store hours and set up round-the-clock security. What’s more, no one under 18 can be allowed inside or to work for dispensaries, the shops can’t offer products that imitate candy and customers can’t get high in the store. “Nobody can operate under those environments,” said James Anthony, an attorney representing many of the pot shops. “It’s a de-facto ban and in kind of a sneaky way.” Pot business owners say they have collected more than enough signatures necessary to put their own dispensary rules — with looser regulations — on the ballot, Anthony says. They note the city makes $5.4 million in tax revenue from the pot shops and insist the issues are limited to a few problem shops. They were aiming to place the initiative on the November ballot, but the council could delay it to November 2016.
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