San Jose Medical Marijuana Program

History of the Program

About the Division

Collective Operational Requirements

Medical Marijuana Fees and Charges

Marijuana Business Tax

History of the Program

Prior to the robust regulatory system in place today, San Jose had over 100 medical marijuana storefronts operating in the City without any regulations or oversight. In September 2013, the San Jose City Council determined that it was critical that there were rules and operational standards in place in order to effectively monitor and regulate medical marijuana establishments operating in the City. On June 17th, 2014, the City Council approved a Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance and a Medical Marijuana Regulatory Ordinance, which make up the current Medical Marijuana regulations in place today.

Beginning July 18th 2014, all of the Collectives operating in the City had until October 17th 2014 to submit their application for registration. Only 63 of the estimated 90 Collectives operating in the City had successfully submitted their application to be considered for registration by the October 17th deadline. They were then required to obtain a Zoning Code Verification Certificate by July 17th 2015 in order to proceed with an extensive review and registration process with various City departments.

By July 17th 2015, only 30 Collectives received their Zoning Certificate and proceeded with the second phase of the registration process. By the July 17th deadline, each Collective was required to have submitted their building plans of their dispensing and cultivation locations for review through the Building Division; paid all of the required Marijuana Business Taxes due to the City; Paid all registration processing fees; and had all of its owners, managers and individuals engaged in the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, transporting or dispensing of medical marijuana submit their application for a background investigation conducted through the San Jose Police Department.

By November 20th 2015, only 19 Collectives remained and were then required to complete a site inspection of their dispensing and cultivation location. The site inspections were conducted by the Police Department along with representatives from the Code Enforcement Division and the Fire Department. By the December 18th 2015 deadline, each Collective was required to have successfully passed a final inspection of its medical marijuana dispensing and cultivation locations; paid the Medical Marijuana Annual Operating Fee to the City; and obtained a Notice of Completed Registration from the City Manager to legally operate in the City.

On December 18th 2015, more than a year after the start of this registration process, only Sixteen Collectives obtained their Notice of Complete Registration to legally operate a Medical Marijuana Collective in San Jose.

In addition to Zoning and Operational requirements, medical marijuana collectives are subject to the City's Marijuana Business Tax, which is a ten percent (10%) gross receipts tax on medical marijuana transfers within the City. Since the inception of the Marijuana Business Tax in 2010, the tax has brought in more than 19 million dollars to the City of San Jose.


About the Division

In June of 2016, the Division of Medical Marijuana Control was created within the San Jose Police Department in order to effectively administer and oversee the operations of Medical Marijuana Program. The Division is operated directly out of the Office of the Chief of Police and consists of both sworn and civilian staff. The Division works directly with staff members from various City Departments including City Manager's Office, City Attorney's Office, Code Enforcement, Building and Planning, Fire, and City Finance in a collaborative effort to effectively address the unique aspects of the Medical Marijuana Program.

Through our robust and effective regulatory system, the mission of the Division is to focus on ensuring the health and safety of the community; accommodate the needs of the seriously ill patients; prevent the distribution of marijuana to minors; and implement strong enforcement measures to prevent criminal enterprises from operating and benefiting from any medical marijuana business activity in San Jose.

For more information about the Division or to report any concerns or illegal activity regarding a medical marijuana collective in San Jose call us at (408)-537-1420 or email us at

To schedule an appointment to submit your Registered Collective Employee Application to start work at a Registered Collective, submit a request at


Collective Operational Requirements

The following ordinances, along with the City Manager Regulations for Medical Marijuana, set forth the rules for operating a Medical Marijuana Collective in San Jose:

  1. Chapter 20.80 The Zoning Ordinance

Regulates the location in the City where medical marijuana collectives may locate.

Collectives are not allowed to locate within:

  • 1,000 feet of:
    • A public or private preschool, elementary school, or secondary school;
    • A child daycare center;
    • A community or recreation center;
    • A park or
    • A library
  • 500 feet of:
    • A substance abuse rehabilitation center; or
    • An emergency residential shelter
  • 150 feet of places of:
    • A religious assembly;
    • An adult daycare center; or
    • A residential use (including legal non-conforming residential use)
  • 50 feet of another collective*
  • *Excluding the 50 foot buffer between two cultivation-only sites and/or a shared cultivation-only site. A cultivation-only site would still be required to be separated by at least 50 feet from a dispensing location.

Compliant zoning areas
Collectives are allowed to locate in the following zoning districts:

  • Light Industrial (LI)
  • Heavy Industrial (HI)
  • Combined Industrial/Commercial (CIC)
  • Industrial Park (IP)
  • Downtown Primary Commercial (DC) – 2nd Story Only

Illustrative Map Showing Parcels Potentially Compliant With the Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance

Noncompliant zoning areas
Collectives are not allowed locate in the following policy areas, business parks or zones:

  1. Chapter 6.88 The Regulatory Ordinance

Chapter 6.88 of the San Jose Municipal Code establishes the rules and parameters regarding the operational requirements for how medical marijuana collectives function in the City.

The Registered Medical Marijuana Collectives are required to follow state law and comply with a number of operational regulations set forth in Chapter 6.88 of the San Jose Municipal Code including, but not limited to the following:

  • No collective shall dispense medical marijuana from more than one location in the city (6.88.310.A.);
  • Hours of operation for storefronts are only between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.(6.88.440.A.);
  • Only the 16 Registered Collectives in San Jose may apply for registration to deliver Medical Marijuana to qualified patients and/or primary caregivers  (6.88.445 C);
  • Hours of operation for deliveries (after being approved for deliveries by the Chief of Police) are from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. midnight.
  • No person under the age of 21 shall be allowed at the location, and no medical marijuana transfers may be made to a member under the age of 21 (6.88.440.F.);
  • Medical marijuana may not be ingested, vaped or consumed at the premises (6.88.440.J.);
  • Outdoor cultivation is prohibited within the City of San Jose (6.88.430.E.);
  • Medical marijuana must be packaged in opaque childproof containers (6.88.460.B.);
  • Packaging that makes the product attractive to children or imitates candy is prohibited (6.88.460.D.);
  • Each owner, manager, and individual member working at the Collective shall wear in plain sight a valid identification badge issued by the Chief of Police (6.88.425.A.);

Collectives must not create or allow a public nuisance on the premises or within 300 feet of the premises, including the following set forth in SJMC 6.88.490:

    • disturbance of the peace;
    • illegal drug activity;
    • public drunkenness;
    • drinking in public;
    • gambling;
    • prostitution;
    • sale of stolen goods;
    • public urination;
    • theft;
    • assaults;
    • batteries; or
    • acts of vandalism
  1. City Manager Regulations for Medical Marijuana

The City Manager Regulations for Medical Marijuana promulgates additional regulations necessary to implement the requirements of the Code. The City Manager Regulations were most recently updated on March 10, 2017.


Council and Committee Meetings

Follow the links below to review past past reports, information and draft ordinances related to the Medical Marijuana Program.

For video, audio or transcripts of the below referenced City Council or Committee Meetings, please visit CivicCenter TV


Medical Marijuana Fees and Charges

Review the 2016-2017 Schedule of Fees and Charges related to the Medical Marijuana Program for all fees and charges related to the cost of the operation of the Medical Marijuana Program.


Marijuana Business Tax

On November 2, 2010, San Jose voters approved Measure U which allows the City of San Jose to tax all marijuana businesses. Pursuant to Chapter 4.66 of the San Jose Municipal Code and Ordinance No. 29262, the Marijuana Business Tax is currently set at 10% of gross receipts. Payment of the Marijuana Business Tax in no way authorizes or legalizes business activities that are otherwise unlawful in the City of San Jose.

If you have questions, related to Marijuana Business Tax please, call (408) 535-7055 and press option 2 for Business Tax, then option 3 for Medical Marijuana Business Tax.

Marijuana Business 
The term "marijuana business" means any marijuana-related business activity including but not limited to planting, cultivating, harvesting, transporting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, processing, preparing, storing, packaging, wholesale, and/or retail sales of marijuana and any ancillary products in the City, regardless of whether they are conducted for gain or profit. 

The director of finance shall have the power to audit and examine books and records of persons or businesses engaged in marijuana business including state and federal income tax returns, California sales tax returns, etc. 

Violation of Chapter 4.66
Conviction for violation of San Jose Municipal Code Chapter 4.66 is deemed a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $500 and/or by imprisonment for a period of not more than 6 months.

This notice does not constitute final or complete interpretation of all legal requirements. Rather, this is a brief summary of the Marijuana Business Tax. For the full text of the Marijuana Business Tax, please refer to Chapter 4.66 of the San Jose Municipal Code


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