San Jose now has its 1st cannabis dispensary downtown

San Jose now has a retail cannabis shop downtown. The shop opened this month after the city amended regulations that kept cannabis stores mainly in industrial areas. 

Purple Lotus has operated in San Jose since 2010, and now they’ve opened another location downtown, hoping to extend more convenience to its customers. 

"Well, it’s better because it’s great that the buses are right here, the light rail. So even if you don’t have a car, it’s super easy to get to," said customer Kaitlyn Owen, of San Jose.   

Sales floor manager David Rios says, although they have a delivery service, being centrally located is not only good for business but good for customer service.  

"No more hoping in your car to drive 15 minutes away. We’re just a walk away from a purchase. So that’s pretty cool," said Rios.  

Last year, the City of San Jose eased regulations that prohibited dispensaries from operating within 1000 feet of schools, daycares, and community spaces. Now the limit is 500 feet, allowing cannabis shops to expand outside of San Jose’s industrial areas.

"A lot of people in the tech industry living in this area have been coming down. A lot of people don’t have cars who live here, so they’ve been super grateful for it," said Eli Perez, a sales representative at Purple Lotus in downtown San Jose.  

Purple Lotus says dispensaries have to pay a $140,000 license fee, a 10% marijuana business tax and a $50 badge fee for each employee. Cannabis shops must also have surveillance cameras and 24-hour security.  

"We have panic buttons throughout just in case anything goes down. We have an armed guard for 24 hours," said Rios.  

In the last fiscal year, the City of San Jose collected about $15 million in tax revenue from cannabis dispensaries. 


Marijuana will be rescheduled as less dangerous drug: Sources

The move would recognize the medical use of cannabis and acknowledge it has less potential for abuse than some of the nation’s most dangerous drugs.