Friday, January 6, 2023

SF GATE: "Huge increase in pot stores is likely coming to Calif.’s third-biggest city"


SF GATE news story (January 6, 2023) about San Jose retail cannabis update below. There are a few technical inaccuracies in what the author wrote but the gist regarding San Jose City Council to re-vote on zoning changes is coming later this year:

Monday, July 11, 2022

Congressman Khanna Demands Cannabis De-Scheduled NOW

Congressman Ro Khanna, D17

Congressman Ro Khanna of the Bay Area 17th District which encompasses parts of Santa Clara and Almeda counties addresses the Federal Response to the Opioid Crises by demanding the de-scheduling of cannabis for the purpose of research and more importantly giving access to all who need it.

Watch and listen as he grills Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of National Drug Control Policy why this is not a Presidential priority as the data is clear that opioids have killed thousands of Americans when legal cannabis is a safe and effective alternative.

LISTEN / WATCH HERE:  4+ minute video

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

SVCA Awarded Proclamation: Excellence in Public Policy

Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance founded March 2018 by Sean Kali-rai is awarded a Proclamation by Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco of San Jose, the third largest city in California for its excellence in creating good Public Policy for the legal cannabis industry. In addition to Councilmember Carrasco she is joined by her 9 council colleagues and Mayor Sam Liccardo.  This commendation comes with a team of very talented and dedicated people who share equally in this honor:

Victor Gomez co-founder SVCA, Former Mayor Chuck Reed, Attorneys Sharmi Shah, James Anthony, Jim Roberts, Marc Matulich, Doug Chloupek, Ernie Arreola, Jessie Duong, Steve and Andrew DeAngelo, Joe LoMonaco, Neil Ruditsky, Derik Howard, Dr. William Armaline, Rev. Jeff Moore, Attorney General Rob Bonta, Assemblymember Ash Kalra, Pete Constant, Congressman Ro Khanna, State Senator Dave Cortese, and State Senator Jim Beall.

"Whereas: The Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance (SVCA) is a professional organization founded by Sean Kali-rai in March 2018, with a focus on growing the regional legal cannabis industry by fostering community; and in collaboration with city elected officials and staff, President and Founder Sean Kali-rai proposed policy that promoted safe legal access to cannabis for community under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (PROP 64); and the SVCA promotes economic development by creating safe and legal frameworks for local cannabis policy which furthers the creation of hundreds of jobs with benefits by the San Jose Cannabis Industry; and President Kali-rai, and the SVCA are champions for equity in the industry by working to remedy the damage of past policies, and building wealth for People of Color; and therefore, I, Sam Liccardo, Mayor of the City of San Jose, together with Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco and our colleagues on the City Council, on this 21st day of June 2022, do hereby recognize and commend the Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance for promoting good Public Policy within the cannabis industry that advances safety and welfare of San Jose Residents."

Friday, May 6, 2022

Cannabis Tax Revenue is Double Alcohol Revenue


In an April 2022 research study conducted by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) compiled the data that found an average 20% higher revenue from legal cannabis sales across the US over alcohol during 2021.  In California, the revenue was higher, much higher, it added up to being over double in collected excise tax in the amount of $832M from legal cannabis compared to $415M from alcohol excise tax collected.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Remember Cannabis 2016


Let's look back to the California legal cannabis election results in 2016.

Since November 9, 2016 legal cannabis was created after overwhelming approval by California voters. Those counties that did not vote in favor had their voices heard (sort of). Those counties that voted yes are entitled to allow legal retail cannabis businesses to open and operate with good public policy from both the state and local levels. Legal cannabis has rolled out with great success but more work needs to be done.  In 2021, a statewide report was issued citing not one legal cannabis retailer allowed a minor to enter their store since legalization.  Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok are the enemies here.

Cities are welcoming the increased tax revenue as well as the additional "community benefits" cannabis applicants offer. During the pandemic legal cannabis was deemed an "essential" business to remain open. Allowing a legal cannabis retail business in your business/shopping districts increases foot traffic to revitalize those areas littered with vacant storefronts.

Below is a reminder of how your residents voted in 2016:

CALIFORNIA STATEWIDE                  57.13%

SAN MATEO COUNTY                        62.96%
Brisbane  68.9%
Unincorporated  67.8%
Pacifica  67.4%
Half Moon Bay  67.3%
Menlo Park  66.7%
East Palo Alto  66.6%
Redwood City  66.2%  (Allowed legal cannabis retail businesses March 2022)
Portola Valley  65.5%    
Woodside  65.3%
San Carlos  65.0%
San Mateo  64.1%
Belmont  64.0%
Burlingame  63.0%
San Bruno  60.4%
Foster City  59.3%
Colma  58.7%
South San Francisco  57.8%
Atherton  57.8%
Daly City  56.3%
Millbrae 55.5%
Hillsborough  54.0%

SANTA CLARA COUNTY                   58.3%
Campbell  62.78%
Cupertino  50.50%
Gilroy  56.78%
Los Altos  58.56%
Los Altos Hills  58.54%
Los Gatos  61.95%
Milpitas  51.24%
Monte Sereno  58.47%
Morgan Hill  57.37%
Mountain View  67.66%
Palo Alto   65.90%
San Jose  57.10%  (Allowed legal cannabis retail businesses December 2015)
Santa Clara  58.99%
Saratoga  53.01%
Stanford  78.64%
Sunnyvale  59.46%

ALAMEDA COUNTY                          66.4%
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY               60.7%
MONTEREY COUNTY                       62.6%
SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY             74.3%
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY                    69.9%

40 out of 57 California counties approved Proposition 64 in 2016.

Sources: - Ballotpedia,org - Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters

Monday, April 4, 2022

Redwood City Cannabis


Sean Kali-rai, founder and president of the Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance, called the decision “a great step forward.”

“There really was no retail cannabis between San Francisco and San Jose along the 101,” Kali-rai said. “California is littered with cannabis deserts — areas that voted for cannabis but for some reason or another don’t have it. I think it’s really meaningful that in San Mateo County, it’s not a desert anymore.”

Read FULL 'The Almanac' News Article <click here>

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Tech Eggs In One Basket


Among many proverbs your momma taught you one of the most valuable life lessons is the English proverb, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket", and that includes tech jobs.

The University of Santa Barbara (UCSB) conducted a 'Cannabis Project' study citing numerous statistical data points on the employment effects of legal cannabis in California and the United States.

In a 10-year Bureau of Labor statistics forecast, the legal cannabis industry across America is the leading job generator.

The author of this blog post worked in a legal cannabis dispensary in the San Francisco Bay Area in a non-plant touching administrative role.  I received the best benefits compensation package of my entire career and this includes banking, real estate, accounting and property management.  My benefits package included Medical, Dental, Vision and Life Insurance with no premium; along with the usual vacation/personal time off.  Some retile dispensaries even offer continuing outside education and 401K plans.

Legal cannabis employees can find a pathway to Management positions from entry level beginnings with their current employer.  Traditional Agriculture Universities are the recruitment vehicle for the cannabis cultivation industry with salaries easily in the 6-figure range.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Canada GDP boosted $43.5 Billion from Cannabis


Canada vs. California:
Canadian population 2020:  38.01 million
California population 2020:  39.53 million

Canada's Gross Domestic Product was boosted $43.5 billion dollars since the legalization of Recreational Cannabis. In California, prior to the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016 there were 3,000+ cannabis retail shops operating under Proposition 215.  Now under the passage of Prop. 64 there are only 823 legally operating stores yet the illegal market has grown tremendously.  Furthermore, 40 out of 58 California counties voted in favor of Prop. 64.

We need to approve and allow more legal retail cannabis shops in California at the city and local level now.  There are too few legal outlets available to the consumer. If storefront shops  were mandated in each city based on population size such as AB2456 introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting, this would go a long way towards combating the sale of illegal weed. Tax it, test it and allow state and/or federal banking in an effort to reduce the illegal sale of untested product, track and trace the product from plant to consumer, and follow the money.

Perhaps you feel it is okay if your neighboring cities allow retail cannabis stores to open and you do not...well that neighboring city just took all your cannabis revenue from your residents.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Fox Business Approves California Legal Cannabis


Fox Business Approves California Legal Cannabis.

Lisa Kennedy host of Fox Business interviews Hirsh Jain, cannabis insider and Chair of Los Angeles Cannabis Chamber of Commerce talk about the challenges of the legal cannabis industry in California. The rise of illegal cannabis sales on sites such as Instagram and Facebook are directly tied to local control giving cities the ability to say 'no' regardless of the majority of their population voting 'yes', over taxation, and bureaucratic red tape. Listen to this 4 minute interview:

VIDEO You Tube Link <click here>

Monday, December 13, 2021

Passionate Tolerance

Amsterdam has a long standing tolerance and acceptance of adult use of Marijuana. Perhaps one wonders what a city and its environs look like? Is it hidden, is it seedy, is it controlled and regulated?
Famed European traveler Rick Steves shows us in a 2+ minute video his visit to a Marijuana Coffee shop and the social and political view of this industry among its people and government. Steves is also the Chairperson of NORML Board of Directors.
Cannabis as we prefer to refer to it, is classified as a "low-level drug" in Amsterdam much in the same use and regulation as alcohol and cigarettes. The population considers themselves as "passionately tolerant" of personal choices and freedoms, and choose not to lock up their citizens and fill the jails for their social activities, no different than a glass of wine after work.

Watch Steves' video excerpt below from his Amsterdam visit in 2015, California passed Proposition 64 "Adult Use of Cannabis" in 2016. The video is only 2 minutes and 44 seconds in length.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Ryan's Law and Cannabis


Cannabis is medicine and our medical community understand this.  Governor Gavin Newsom today (September 28),  signed legislation by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) expanding end-of-life treatment options for Californians by requiring that hospitals and certain types of healthcare facilities in the state allow terminally-ill patients to use medical cannabis for treatment and/or pain relief.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Grand Opening - Union City Makes History

Grand Opening today (July 16, 2021) of FLOR at Union Landing In Union City, CA.
The first Cannabis dispensary in a Super Regional Power Retail Center in America! Thank you to the forward thinking support of the Mayor, City Council Members, City Manager, Asst. City Manager and Economic Development department to be on the correct side of history, giving their residents what they asked for at the ballot box and selecting the right applicant to get the job done right. The interior is gorgeous like a high-end jewelry boutique. Come on in and check it out. You might even say hello to your neighbor because FLOR hires local.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Cannabis Is Your Good Neighbor


Did you know a legal cannabis business is a good neighbor?  Not only are sales taxes to the city coffers as well as a separate cannabis tax generated, a necessity when economic recovery is desperately needed but they participate in your local community in a very meaningful way. Legal cannabis businesses do not receive the same tax advantages as any other legal business yet they give.  This in fact is an impressive list of social consciousness and caring.

Here is a partial list (alphabetical order) of non-profit agencies, community groups, neighborhood festivals, etc. within your counties, cities and neighborhoods your legally licensed greater Silicon Valley Cannabis businesses support through financial donations, volunteer hours and/or needed supplies:

2020 San Mateo County Census Drive
AIDS Walk of San Francisco
American Red Cross
Autism Awareness
Breast Cancer Awareness
Cali Roots
Code For America
Día De La Familia
Downtown Street Teams Salinas
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Hebbron Family Center Food Bank
Keep A Breast Foundation
Lake County Fire Victims
Last Prisoner Project
March of Dimes
Monterey County Food Bank
Monterey County Veteran's Parade
Music Saves Lives
National Expungement Week
National Steinbeck Center
Paws With A Cause
Rancho Cielo Youth Campus
Ronald McDonald House
Salinas California Rodeo
Salinas National Night Out
San Francisco Pride
San Jose Jazz Festival
San Mateo County Economic Devel. Assn.
Second Harvest Food Bank
Silicon Valley Organization (Chamber Comm.)
Silicon Valley Strong
Spark The Vote
Special Kids Connect
Success Centers
Tavarez Car Show
Weed For Warriors
Wounded Warrior Project

Note: Some organizations asked not to be identified.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

AB 1302, Commercial Cannabis Billboards


Sean Kali-rai this morning (April 27, 2021) addressed the California Business and Professions Committee and submitted a 'YES' vote for AB 1302  on behalf of Legal Cannabis For Consumer Safety (, Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance ( and others. 

AB 1302, introduced by Assemblymember Bill Quirk, is written to allow legal cannabis businesses to advertise on California billboards with minimal restrictions.  Click for bill details:

UPDATE: AB 1302 passed Committee and moves forward to Appropriations Committee.

AB 273, Cannabis Advertising Highways

Sean Kali-rai this morning (April 27, 2021) addressed the California Business and Professions Committee and submitted a 'NO' vote for AB 273  on behalf of Legal Cannabis For Consumer Safety (, Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance ( and others. 

AB 273, introduced by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, is written to ban legal cannabis businesses to advertise on California highway billboards.

UPDATE:  AB 273 Failed in Committee today.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

CONGRATULATIONS Rob Bonta, California's Newest Attorney General


Congratulations Rob Bonta, Bay Area Assembly District 18 as California's newest Attorney General appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom.  Bonta has been a supporter of the legal cannabis industry in California.  Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance ( and the Bay Area legal cannabis business owners proudly supported his nomination to this historic appointment. Bonta is also a member of the Asian Pacific Island community.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Lobbyist Slams San Jose Over Delays On Cannabis Land-Use

Photo by Ryland Zweigel, via Shutterstock

San Jose dispensaries pay a combined $2.3 million a year in  fees to the city. Why are dispensaries paying fees for work that has been not completed or delayed? The city either needs to get the work done or to cut reimbursement checks to these dispensaries.

San Jose Inside News:

In case you missed it, here is the transcript of Sean Kali-rai's one-minute public comment at the special San Jose Council Priority Setting meeting on February 25:

"Good afternoon Mayor and Council. I am Sean Kali-rai Founder of Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance and Jackson and Main.  Unfortunately I am not going to make very nice comments.  I apologize, but I am completely displeased, and that's an understatement. Surprised? Not at all!  Cannabis has always been treated like a second-class citizen.  We spent $400,000 and put this initiative on the ballot to actually end up getting legalization, something that the voters voted for.  And now here we are again getting harassed by the City Manager's office where we pulled it out of and put it into the police department and now we're back in the city manager's office dealing with these same situations that we tried to pull away from when we moved it to the police department.  The Priority that I would like to have passed is that cannabis never become a priority again and just be treated like Google and Apple.  Thank you."

Will Cannabis Come To Retail Centers In San Jose After Another Delay?

photo by Adam F. Hutton

Kali-rai said "Do your job. And if you can't do your job, maybe there's another job you should be looking for."  Sean Kali-rai - President/Founder Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance

San Jose Spotlight News Article:

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Cannabis Wins in 2020


Maybe you feel like you won this past Presidential election, maybe you feel like you lost this Presidential election.  One winner for us all is the overwhelming increase in states and local jurisdictions that voted and passed 'YES4LegalCannabis'.  You all obviously listened to the hashtag that has been circling for over a year; #VoteCannabisCandidates.

News Article: CBS Morning News: "Marijuana Legalization Is So Popular It's Defying The Partisan Divide"

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

74 Percent

It appears the White House will have a new resident on January 20.  This will likely turn out to be a major victory for the legal cannabis industry.  There are already mutterings from the Biden/Harris ticket that banking reform will happen in 2021 so that legal cannabis businesses have a safe place to deposit their money, no more all cash transactions, access to lending capital and the ability to track the money.

Here are the facts:

  • Five more states approved some form of legalized cannabis November 3, 2020
  • Gallup released poll findings on Monday that shows nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the adult use of cannabis
  • Since the early 1970's the acceptance of cannabis use has steadily increased as shown in the Gallup chart above.

Cannabis use in California was born out of compassionate use for those suffering the ravages of the fight among AIDS patients. Let me say this again, compassionate use.  If you walk into a legal cannabis dispensary today the customers inside will be tech workers and the elderly. People look for alternatives over prescription medication for pain management and sleep deprivation among the elderly population as well as arthritis and those suffering disease and illness such as cancer patients.

In the SF Bay Area landlords are raising their hands saying I want a cannabis tenant in my building more than ever because of the upcoming change in the US Presidency.  There is very little fear of federal consequence for the foreseeable future and with 74% of states allowing some form of legal cannabis policy, there is no turning back the tide. Alcohol has been with us for 87 years with the passage of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution and we all know the history lesson of Prohibition.  We recently learned under the Pandemic that if you outlaw haircuts and manicures, folks will secretly seek it out. Let's legalize, let's regulate and pay our way into economic recovery.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Cannabis Education Is Key

KCBS Radio 74.0 am/106.9 fm reports on Thursday new cannabis users are turning to cannabis for relief as per the research study conducted by BDS Analytics. Ordinary people, your neighbor, co-worker and friend are giving up alcohol and addictive opioids to cope with our current national and worldwide crisis. When visiting a legal retail cannabis dispensary they arrive armed with much curiosity and a lot of honest questions. They know their purchased product is clean and tested for pesticides, free of inorganic additives and bugs.

America has a long history with pills and self-medication.  Just look at all the TV ads today if you are in doubt. Remember Coca-Cola's history at the turn of the 20th century produced with a mild cocaine additive?  When you visit your doctor's office with a dull pain or bad cold, you ask your medical professional for a quick fix, a magic elixir, a pill. Our collective "gate-way" drug is aspirin. Your momma gave it to you when you were 5 years old with Johnson & Johnson's orange flavored chewables and it tasted good. We were indoctrinated very early into managing our own needs for sleep management for the elderly, pain management for the sick, the daily stresses of work, family, children and yes sometimes a desire for recreation. Under Covid-19 we learned if you ban it, they will come.  Haircuts were banned and folks were seeking out underground salon services.

Cannabis is a drug, no doubt about that.  We have 80 years of history with alcohol and the past angst is a mere fog in the rearview mirror. Alcohol and its uses are off everyone's radar, and you cannot have a brunch gathering today without a pitcher of Mimosa's at the ready.  Cannabis is legal, regulate, educate, and de-schedule. With proper education let adults be adults and move on.  2020 has shown us there are much larger problems that affect our future than a little plant.  And oh yes lest we forget, alcohol is derived from plant products.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Create Good Cannabis Policy


You have a massive budget shortfall, you have laid off staff in multiple departments, you have pulled back on city services and still there is a shortfall for years to come.

Do you attempt yet another tax of your residents who are out of work and already struggling, or do we get creative and think outside the box?

When creating your cannabis policy that is both an ongoing revenue source to your city and invite a new industry that will be a good business partner here is what you need to know when determining where and how many legal cannabis licenses to allow. It has been 40+ years since the birth of the last new and exciting industry. The Governor's office has also deemed the legal cannabis industry as essential and continued to operate as all other essential industries with proper pandemic protocols in place.

A cannabis retail business applicant has taken on the task of working in a highly regulated industry; more than tobacco, more than alcohol, more than casinos and more than drug stores.  A good cannabis business operator, has a large labor force, hires locally, always diverse, has challenges to banking and tax preparation, the strictest track and trace and inventory control of the product. There is nothing else like it in America today, and rightfully so.  A major hurdle is finding the appropriate property business location and the State already has guidelines set forth to provide for setbacks of sensitive receptors: schools, daycare centers, etc.

Now for the difficult piece of the puzzle, the actual property.  Once you have your "green-zones" determined the applicant must find a property that is:
1. distant from sensitive receptors
2. the property owner will allow a retail cannabis dispensary as a tenant
3. the owner does not have a loan on the property that would likely get "called" should they allow tenancy
4. no access to traditional banking to purchase their own store 

Here is an example in San Mateo County.  Half Moon Bay used to be the ornamental flower capital of the western world, now decimated due to offshoring.  They chose to allow cannabis cultivation only, not retail, to backfill their agricultural history and to resurrect the greenhouses that lie fallow. Makes perfect sense only on paper.  The cannabis plant is very susceptible to mold and foggy climate. It has been over three years and no cultivator has applied for a license while their city continues to suffer budgetarily and this was all pre-pandemic. Half Moon Bay still struggles.

You may wish to tread shallow water and allow medical-only retail licensing but this is a non-starter.  In Santa Clara County with a current population of 1,940,000 residents holds roughly only 200 active medical license cards. The passage of adult-use in 2016 no longer makes a distinction between medical or recreational cannabis.

Be thoughtful with your approach but please also consider the largest swath of green-zone districts allowed.  The four items listed above are challenging and restrictive on its own.  No legal cannabis retail operator wants to be near your children, your schools, or your daycare centers. These are not their customer. Children and not able to enter the front door as a security person will scan your current identification before entering, no one is allowed to loiter on the business premises, the front of the store must be shielded from the operations inside the business.  These are already written into Proposition 64 passed by your residents in 2016.

Thank you for your time, I am always available, Sean Kali-rai, to answer your cannabis policy municipal questions as I have been integral with writing the City of San Jose cannabis policy in December of 2015 as it stands today.  The City of San Jose allows 16 legal cannabis retail businesses to operate before Proposition 64 and has the strictest guidelines in the state of California. These 16 operators are well run, they participate in community events, they promote from within, they are good neighbors to those who reside around them and with no issues of crime.

Friday, October 23, 2020



The biggest brick wall in the cannabis industry is the federal government. Upon its de-scheduling out of category 1 drug the doors would open for legal cannabis businesses their necessary access to banking thereby a greater ability to track the money. Our legal cannabis businesses want this.  It makes their financial world so much more efficient to run. Simpler record keeping and managing expenses, bill pay and payroll, access to real capital. What better way to help a very lucrative tax revenue stream for cities and stamp out the illegal cannabis marketplace, reduce crime and eliminate the ingestion of untested product into our bodies.

40 of 57 California county residents voted YES for Proposition 64, Adult Use of marijuana Act in 2016. 34 states in the US currently have some form of legal cannabis policy on their books and another handful of states with measures on the 2020 election ballot this November all in just a few short years.

It has been 40+ years since we have seen the birth of a new and exciting industry that the people want and voted for. In fact there are more cannabis industry employees working today in the US than there are computer programmers.  BTW, medical only cannabis licenses is a non-starter.  In Santa Clara County with a population of over 1,900,000 residents has on its books only 200 active medical cards issued.

Do a little homework, this November 3, #VoteCannabisCandidates. You can begin with the following candidates who have already shown their dedication, support and loyalty to the legal cannabis industry in California:  Ro Khanna for Congress, Ash Kalra for Assembly, and Rob Bonta for Assembly.

Thursday, October 22, 2020



Nushin Rashidian, co-founder of Cannabis Wire reported on October 21 that money spent on federal lobbying for cannabis is down for the third quarter in a row. Cannabis policy and legislation is fought on the ground at the local/regional level, especially in California where Proposition 64 disastrously allows for local control. 

Do you know your local cannabis regulations?
Does anyone represent your business needs?
Are you frustrated with local/state legislation?
Need a network of professionals who understand you and your cannabis business?
Who can you turn to for help?

Join Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance. We focus on greater Silicon Valley, Northern California and Central Coast.