March 4, 2021
If you’re looking for a cannabis dispensary in San Jose, you have 16 to choose from. But you won’t be able to find one next to a CVS or your favorite restaurant: By city ordinance, all dispensaries are located in industrial zones instead of with other retail in places like strip malls.
The San Jose City Council had plans to significantly widen access to dispensaries in April but delayed that decision, citing COVID-19 priorities and the need to do additional outreach. Now, advocates worry the initiative is in limbo, even though the council made it a priority in 2019.
Why the delay? COVID-19.
“The memo has been written, the work has been done,” said Sean Kali-rai, the founder of the Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance, a chamber of commerce-like nonprofit for local weed businesses. “But they want to put us back on a list to reevaluate the other council policies that came after this one.”
The plan aims to make it easier for dispensaries to thrive by: allowing cannabis dispensaries to operate more than one storefront, expanding the number of dispensaries in the city and allowing cannabis businesses to open in shopping centers instead of