In the wake of San Jose, California officials sending letters in December telling many city dispensaries to shut down, the Silicon Valley Cannabis Coalition filed a “notice of intent” with the City Clerk’s office for a ballot initiative that, if passed by voters in November, would allow all currently operating medical pot shops to remain open.

On Dec 10 the San Jose City Council voted 8-3 to support more restrictive pot laws that will officially be voted on in March. The proposed regs would only allow dispensaries to open within less than one percent of city limits, effectively outlawing most of the 82 cannabis clinics in operation at the time.

In response, dispensary owners began crafting an initiative that would establish a minimum of 50 dispensaries in San Jose and keep all currently operating shops open. However, all newly established medical pot shops would have to be more than 1,000 feet away from a school. It also allows for limited medical weed use by minors and establishes an 11-member “cannabis commission” to provide regulatory oversight.  

Medical pot proponents hope that the City Council would opt to pass the measure when they vote on the proposed regulations in March, rather than have it go before voters. Such was the case in 2011, when the council did not limit pot shops when faced with a voter initiative.  

The Silicon Valley Cannabis Coalition must now gather 20,372 signatures of San Jose registered voters by May 16 to qualify for the November 4 ballot.