San Jose could change the zoning legal guidelines for hashish retailers that will add roughly 1,400 new business areas.
On Wednesday, the Planning Fee will contemplate modifications to guidelines for brand spanking new dispensaries, enabling them to increase past industrial zoning areas and into business areas. Different modifications embody setback necessities from colleges, neighborhoods and neighborhood facilities, permitting present dispensaries to open a second location and rezoning to permit as much as 1,300 areas for delivery-only dispensaries, which don’t exist in San Jose.
Presently, hashish retailers—each storefronts and cultivation websites—are solely allowed to function in industrial zones. Beneath laws authorized in 2014, San Jose adopted a vertical integration mannequin, which suggests every hashish “collective” is required to develop and course of/manufacture its personal merchandise.
Due to the commercial nature of cultivating and manufacturing hashish, the council decided dispensaries had been applicable solely in industrial areas. There are 16 dispensaries in San Jose.
“Proper now, they’re in a really, very slender set of locations that aren’t all the time handy,” Planning Commissioner Pierluigi Oliverio informed San José Highlight. “These companies are sometimes on the mercy of the property proprietor, as a result of they know they don’t have many decisions.”
By permitting them in areas zoned for business use, similar to city villages and transit areas, it might make it extra handy for consumers and extra inexpensive for different folks to function dispensaries, Oliverio mentioned.
The proposal coming earlier than the fee would additionally enable as much as 10 new hashish companies for fairness candidates solely, as much as 5 of which can be retail storefronts. Presently, three of the 16 dispensaries are minority-owned.
“It’s not unusual if anybody visits anyplace across the nation or anyplace in California that most of these providers are out in retail communities all around the state,” mentioned Oliverio, a former San Jose councilmember who says he wrote the primary memo on medical hashish in 2010.
The fee can even contemplate making extra stringent setback necessities for dispensaries. Presently, hashish dispensaries are solely allowed to function if they’re 1,000 ft away from colleges and neighborhood facilities, 500 ft from rehab facilities and 150 ft from spiritual websites and residential areas.
Beneath the brand new proposal, workers advocate dispensaries be 600 ft from daycare facilities and youth facilities solely within the downtown core, and preserve a 1,000-foot setback for all different areas within the metropolis. This would come with rehab facilities, spiritual websites and residential areas with much less stringent laws presently. That is extra restrictive than the state pointers which permit setbacks of 600 ft basically.
Metropolis workers are additionally recommending dispensaries be prohibited from areas the place the crime charge is 20% or larger.
Due to town’s “sturdy hashish regulatory program and the setback necessities, workers believes hashish storefront dispensaries can function safely and with out impacts to the adjoining areas, very similar to some other retail storefront,” the planning division wrote in a memo to the fee.
Having extra dispensaries might additionally bring in more revenue to town, particularly as a result of San Jose is the one metropolis within the South Bay that has hashish storefronts, Planning Commissioner Justin Lardinois mentioned.
“Town does make fairly a bit of cash off hashish retail,” Lardinois informed San José Highlight. “After I see these debates taking place in different cities, I do know one of many issues that comes up within the arguments is all our residents are going and shopping for hashish in San Jose and San Jose is getting the gross sales tax from it.”
Richard De La Rosa, a lobbyist who represents hashish enterprise Canna Tradition, mentioned town would profit from these modifications, however not present dispensaries.
“My concern is that the smaller dispensaries received’t have the identical alternatives as the massive guys,” De La Rosa informed San José Highlight.
De La Rosa mentioned that’s as a result of including new shops doesn’t essentially imply bringing in new clients, so extra areas will disperse clientele. The larger hashish retailers might additionally afford to increase to a second location with extra foot site visitors—a luxurious that is probably not afforded to smaller operations, he mentioned.
“It’s going to permit San Jose to gather extra charges,” De La Rosa mentioned. “So to me, that’s the principle cause it’s in all probability being finished. As a result of so far as gross sales, I don’t see any fast profit to that.”
Nevertheless, by way of rezoning, he mentioned it’s “lengthy overdue,” as workers have deliberated these changes since 2019.
Planning commissioners mentioned specifics on projected tax income and different advantages will probably be mentioned on the assembly tonight, which begins at 6:30 p.m. It may be accessed here.
Contact Jana Kadah at [email protected] or @Jana_Kadah on Twitter.
This story will probably be up to date.