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Thursday, February 25, 2010

San Jose's Cannabis Gold Rush: Throwing L.A.'s Cautionary Tale to the Wind

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 6:22 PM

If nothing else, Los Angeles' protracted struggle with cannabis clinic regulation should serve as a warning to other cities in which medicinal marijuana dispensaries wish to operate -- Better to lay down some strict rules and regulations, even if they can be a bit onerous (like in San Francisco), even if it means limiting the amount of clinics allowed within city limits to, say, five (like in Oakland).

click to enlarge PIC VIA LAWEEKLY

The alternative is at best messy: politicians will take years figuring out what to do, and meanwhile something like 1,000 "clinics" will spring up, spooking neighbors, irking law enforcement , and hurting the movement (like in Los Angeles).

Hell hath no fury like a cautionary tale ignored, as officials in San Jose are discovering. Pot clubs were nonexistent in northern California's largest city a year ago, forcing patients to trek north to Oakland or SF or south to Santa Cruz. Those bad old days are over, and a Los Angeles-style cannabis gold rush has set in: anywhere from 30 to 45 clinics and delivery services are operating in San Jose, nobody seems to know exactly how many, and few folks -- save the patients who no longer have to drive an hour or more for their medicine, and maybe some unsavory characters happy to unload a few pounds -- are thrilled with the situation.

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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