SLO’s Marijuana Debate: No Vote Yet, But Plenty of Acrimony
As marijuana industry consultant Tony Keith says, when it comes to cannabis in San Luis Obispo, “it's hard to keep track of what's up, what's down, what's in, what's out.”
The county held its third meeting Friday on the future of cannabis policy. It was a continuation of an extremely contentious gathering Tuesday in which accusations of Brown Act violations flew, one councilwoman was laughed at, and another was called out for making faces by a colleague. Another meeting is now scheduled for Nov. 7.
Here’s the gist of it all: it looks like the county is getting ready to strictly limit cultivation and sales ahead of Jan. 1.
Supervisors have now made over 30 changes to their proposed marijuana ordinance regulating commercial marijuana activity in the county. As the Mercury News explains, the implications are pretty significant:
First, only people who registered with the county as a cooperative grow under the urgency ordinance last year would be able to apply for a permit to cultivate, until the board revisits the ordinance next year.
That would limit permits to a maximum of 141, indoor and outdoor. It would mean no new cultivators could apply and more than 100 people who registered their medical farms as personal or caregiver grows would not be eligible for a land-use permit.
The only exemptions would be for personal use, which allows six plants, and caregivers, which would allow one person to grow six plants for five patients. Farmers who grow up to 99 plants under Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana, would not be exempt from the land-use requirement, meaning many of them would be in violation of the county ordinance.
Second, brick-and-mortar dispensaries, and the food-truck model mobile dispensaries, would be prohibited. Deliveries would be allowed, including from cultivation sites.
Officials are also considering heavy restrictions on edibles.
The county’s next public meeting is unlikely to be the last on this issue. It could take another two meetings before an actual vote is held, supervisors said.