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Medical Marijuana in San José

The City of San José’s medical marijuana program regulates:

  • Where medical marijuana collectives can operate;
  • Who can operate medical marijuana collectives; and
  • How medical marijuana collectives can operate.

The City’s regulations apply to all types of medical marijuana operations including collectives, dispensaries, manufacturing facilities, delivery services, cultivation, extraction, etc.

It is illegal for any marijuana entity to operate in San José without first getting a Notice of Completed Registration as a Medical Marijuana Collective from the City. Violators are subject to closure and fines of up to $50,000 per offense, per day, as well as criminal prosecution.

Please note: the City’s Zoning Code does NOT allow recreational/adult use marijuana businesses. If the state legalizes recreational/adult use, the City of San José would have to hold community outreach meetings, Planning Commission hearings, and City Council hearings before the City Council would vote on whether to allow the sale, cultivation, manufacture, delivery, etc. of recreational/adult use cannabis.

Proposition 64 on the state ballot would allow the sale of recreational/adult use cannabis by state-licensed retailers ONLY. The state would not be required to begin issuing licenses until 2018. Under Proposition 64, you cannot get a state license if you are breaking local law.

All marijuana businesses in San José, legal or illegal, medical or recreational, are required to pay Marijuana Business Tax (10% of gross receipts).

Property owners, landlords, and prospective business owners are strongly cautioned to be informed about state and local laws BEFORE entering into leases, rental agreements, or other business arrangements in the medical or recreational/adult use cannabis industry. Landlords face significant fines and other penalties for allowing an illegal marijuana business on their property. Business owners face significant fines and other penalties for operating an illegal marijuana business.

The City of San José is NOT taking new applications for Medical Marijuana Collectives at this time. The application period closed on October 17, 2014. Only the City Council can reopen it.

There are 16 Registered Collectives in San José. Any operators not on this list are violating local and state law.

Currently, delivery businesses are illegal in San José, and any businesses that deliver in San José are doing so in violation of local and state law. Violators are subject to closure and fines of up to $50,000 per offense, per day, as well as criminal prosecution.

Patients and caregivers are cautioned to not patronize illegal businesses.

Where can collectives operate?

San José’s Zoning Ordinance allows collectives to locate in the following zoning districts: Light Industrial, Heavy Industrial, Combined Industrial/Commercial, Industrial Park, and Downtown Primary Commercial (2nd Story only). They are not allowed in other commercial zones, in Planned Development districts, and in residential zones. They also are not allowed in three development policy areas in North San Jose, Edenvale, or the International Business Park.

To protect sensitive uses, collectives are not allowed to locate within:
  • 1,000 feet of public or private preschools, elementary schools, or secondary schools; child daycare centers; community and recreation centers; parks; or libraries
  • 500 feet of substance abuse rehabilitation centers or emergency residential shelters
  • 150 feet of places of religious assembly; adult daycare centers; or residential uses (including legal non-conforming residential uses)
  • 50 feet of another collective

Who can operate a collective?

Owners, managers, and individual staff cannot:
  • Be younger than 21
  • Be on parole/probation for possession, sale, distribution or transportation of controlled substance
  • Have a conviction for crime of moral turpitude 
  • Have a misdemeanor/felony in past 10 years involving:
– Use of violence, force, fear, fraud or deception 
– Unlawful possession, sale, manufacture, use, distribution or transportation
   of a controlled substance;

– Use of money to engage in criminal activity.

How must collectives operate?

Collectives must follow state law and comply with City of San José regulations. They are subject to inspection by the City and other authorities at any time. They must comply with all security requirements and requirements for cultivation, processing, manufacturing, and transferring medical marijuana, as well as state and local laws.

In addition, collectives cannot violate the City’s Good Neighbor Rules. Collectives cannot create a public nuisance. There is to be no onsite consumption of medical marijuana.

In addition, the collective cannot have any of the following activities occurring onsite or within 300 feet of their property:

A. Disturbance of the peace;
B. Illegal drug activity;
C. Public drunkenness;
D. Drinking in public;
E. Gambling;
F. Prostitution;
G. Sale of stolen goods;
H. Public urination;
I. Theft;
J. Assaults;
K. Batteries; or
L. Acts of vandalism.