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Medical and Non-Medical Cannabis in San José

NEW - San José to Allow Non-Medical Cannabis at Existing Registered Collectives beginning January 1, 2018

As of January 1, 2018, the City of San José will allow existing Registered Medical Marijuana Collectives to sell or provide non-medical cannabis to those age 21 and older if they obtain a state license to do so. Non-medical cannabis includes recreational or "adult use" cannabis or marijuana.

Existing Registered Collectives would also be allowed to cultivate, process, manufacture, and distribute non-medical cannabis to other state-licensed cannabis businesses (with a state license). If approved for delivery, Registered Collectives may also to deliver non-medical cannabis to adults 21 and older.

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

It is illegal for any cannabis entity to operate in San José without first getting a Notice of Completed Registration as a Medical and/or Non-Medical Cannabis Collective from the City. 
Violators are subject to closure and fines of up to $50,000 per offense, per day.

Registered Collectives registered to do delivery are listed hereAll other delivery businesses are prohibited 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.

Customers, patients and caregivers are cautioned to not patronize illegal businesses.

San José's Cannabis Program

The City of San José’s medical and non-medical cannabis program regulates:
  • Where cannabis collectives/businesses can operate;
  • Who can operate cannabis collectives/businesses; and
  • How cannabis collectives/businesses can operate.

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

Where Can Medical and Non-Medical Cannabis Collectives/Businesses Operate?

San José’s Zoning Ordinance allows cannabis collectives/businesses 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 José, 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 Cannabis Collective or Cannabis Business?

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 Cannabis Collectives/Cannabis Businesses Operate?

Cannabis collectives/businesses must follow state law and comply with City of San José regulations. They must hold both a San José Notice of Completed Registration and (as of January 1, 2018) a State License.

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.

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

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 cannabis business on their property. Business owners face significant fines and other penalties for operating an illegal cannabis business.