Pubdate: Wed, 09 Dec 2015
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2015 San Jose Mercury News
Author: Ramona Giwargis


SAN JOSE - With the looming threat of medical marijuana collectives 
supporting a ballot measure that wipes out San Jose's pot 
regulations, city leaders Tuesday eased the rules and approved major 
compromises - including allowing collectives to grow weed anywhere in 
the state.

The city a year ago adopted a pair of medical marijuana ordinances 
that limited where weed shops can locate, banned them from dispensing 
pot manufactured around the state and required some operational 
changes, including background checks for staff members.

The marijuana shops were given until Dec. 18 to register with the 
city, move to new locations, pay licensing fees and pass inspections.

But collectives, which are currently allowed to operate one off-site 
cultivation site in Santa Clara County or its contiguous counties, 
said that rule hinders their ability to grow enough medicine to keep 
up with demand.

In a 10-1 vote Tuesday, the City Council approved allowing shops a 
second cultivation site anywhere in California and asked staff to 
study allowing the shops to obtain products made in other parts of 
the state - usually "edibles" such as chocolate, gum and ice cream. 
The report is expected in March.

Councilman Manh Nguyen was the lone dissenter because of a personal 
belief that marijuana should not be legal.

The council also approved allowing the collectives to sell leftover 
products from third-party vendors from around the state for one year 
after the Dec. 18 deadline. In addition, Tuesday's action also allows 
the 19 San Jose collectives that are trying to comply with city rules 
to transfer pot among themselves. City officials said this helps 
ensure they don't run out of marijuana.

Another proposal approved Tuesday will allow collectives to grow 
marijuana in greenhouses on roughly 600 mostly-industrial parcels. 
City staff will come back with a list of sites next year.

Other approved changes require collective staff members to wear 
policeissued badges and allows shops to manufacture weed products at 
their off-site growing location.

The medical marijuana compromises come on the heels of growing 
tension between collectives and City Hall as the deadline nears for 
compliance with the city's rules and collectives consider supporting 
Sensible San Jose, a 2016 ballot measure that removes most of the 
city's restrictions.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom