San Jose Collectives on a Collision Course with City Council

City staff has at last tipped their hand in a recent memo: If left up to them, the City Council will  ban virtually all existing collectives (with perhaps a few exceptions in the Commercial General and Light Industrial zones). Having swept the field clear, they would then be free to hand pick their favored landlords and operators.

But their regulations would make any reasonable operation impossible: they require that each collective grow ALL its own medicine (flowers, concentrates, edibles–all of it) in one location in San Jose. That is a disaster for patients. It eliminates the huge variety of strains and medicinal consumption options now available for the health and convenience of patients in collectives that get their medicine from their members according to state law. That system provides amazing variety and vitality of supply. That’s all gone under staff’s proposal with zero consideration for the needs of patients.

And staff’s plan is an environmental disaster too, requiring gigantic indoor grows that consume insane amounts of electricity. To produce the roughly 9,300 pounds of medical cannabis distributed annually in San Jose will consume 16.3 million Kilowatt Hours of electricity and dump 13 million Kilograms of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere, roughly the same as an additional 1500 houses or driving a million cars for an hour. (See the Evan Mills Study, “Energy Up in Smoke” for calculation details.) Much of this can be avoided with outdoor medicine from rural California as allowed by state law.

Federal Law Enforcement will not tolerate such gigantic grows–they blocked Oakland’s giant indoor cultivation plan in 2010 and nothing has changed since: they continue to insist that cultivation must be regulated under STATEWIDE law, not a patchwork of local regulations.

Some amount of indoor growing is a necessity under federal prohibition and has its place. But to deny patients the right to obtain sun-grown outdoor medicine produced legally in rural California is both cruel and environmentally irresponsible.

The only viable option is the Sensible San Jose initiative petition. Sign it today. It will allow about half or more of existing collectives to register and at last have recognized legal status under San Jose law–and it will allow cultivation to continue under existing and future state law.

James Anthony

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