URGENT: STOP Santa Clara County from Rolling Back Prop. 64 and Access to Legal Cannabis

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We are residents, voters, neighbors and merchants who support safe and legal access to medical and recreational cannabis from highly regulated and taxed local businesses in Santa Clara County.

Despite the County’s best intentions to allow residents access and acquisition to medical cannabis, during this trying time for all, the County has reversed course and is essentially rolling back Prop. 64 by only allowing acquisition of medical cannabis at an existing cannabis retailer if the patient has a current medical recommendation from a doctor.  

Patients should not be denied safe access during this critical period and we are requesting that the County’s new policy be amended to allow the acquisition of medical cannabis at a cannabis retailer upon presenting a government issued ID or passport, rather than requiring a doctor’s recommendation.

After the passage of Prop 64, which legalized possession of cannabis, medical cannabis patients stopped renewing their doctor’s recommendations. The reason for this is that patients had access to the same cannabis medications after legalization as they had prior to legalization but were now spared the expense of obtaining a doctor’s recommendation, as well as the bother of taking time off to obtain the document. Retailers estimate that between 70% to 80% of their clientele are medical cannabis patients who have not renewed their doctor’s recommendations for cannabis.

Because the vast majority of medical cannabis patients no longer have a current doctor’s recommendation, the new County policy effectively serves as a de-facto BAN and PROHIBITION on the safe- and socially distanced- acquisition of cannabis from our highly regulated cannabis businesses

For the reasons stated below, we respectfully request that the County immediately amend its order to ensure that medical cannabis patients have access to the safe and socially distanced acquisition of medical cannabis at a trusted and regulated cannabis retailer in the County:

  • Limiting storefront acquisition of medical cannabis to only current medical cannabis patients is a de-facto ban on providing most medical cannabis patients with access to safe and legal medical cannabis from trusted and regulated businesses that are practicing strict social distancing measures.
  • This policy will result in the loss of several businesses, hundreds of jobs in our community and hundreds of thousands of dollars in local sales tax revenue that is desperately needed to help our first responders and hospitals right now.
  • By closing off storefront access, thousands of medical cannabis patients will be left no choice but to turn to the unregulated and unsafe black market, and the many problems that creates.
  • Assuming that all patients who do not possess a doctor’s recommendation for cannabis can use a delivery services, is inaccurate as the poorer a patient is, the less likely they are to have an Internet connection, a credit card or a bank account, all of which are necessary to access delivery services.
  • Medical cannabis should be made readily accessible during the shutdown, just like alcohol, tobacco and prescriptions, all of which are readily available for in-store purchase.
  • It’s important to remember that not one COVID-19 illness or death has been linked to a licensed cannabis retailer in the State of California. Dispensary workers are wearing gloves and masks, enforcing the distancing rule for both patrons and employees and implementing curb-side service as quickly as they can.

For these reasons and more, please join us in SIGNING this petition and asking that Santa Clara County officials do the RIGHT thing and let our cannabis businesses resume serving the health and wellness of Santa Clara County consumers-while continuing to observe all social distancing and sanitization requirements.