A crackdown on medicinal cannabis dispensaries in San Jose, California began December 11 after the City Council voted 8-3 late Tuesday night to support more restrictive medical pot laws that will be officially voted on in March. 

The new regulations would confine San Jose's 82 current dispensaries to operate within less than one percent of the city – primarily in the industrial northern edge, removed from residential homes, schools and rehab facilities. If enacted, the new rules would go into effect in the spring or by summer 2014. 

On Wednesday the Council authorized city code officials to send letters to dispensaries located near private homes, informing them they are considered illegal and need to cease operations. City officials anticipate all of those targeted dispensaries to be closed within two months. Previously, the city had only shut down dispensaries that generated complaints, but now they have opted to initiate a more proactive anti-pot strategy. 

Technically, San Jose has no legislation outlawing dispensaries, but since there are no laws permitting them, that enables authorities to shut them down. The only good news for San Jose pot patients was that an attempt to completely ban dispensaries was shot down at the Tuesday Council meeting. Dispensary owners balked at the Council's proposal, and in response plan to gather signatures to place a measure on the ballot that would impose stricter medical pot shop regulations.