NIPOMO, Calif. - The future of recreational marijuana cultivation in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County dominated Monday night's meeting of the South County Advisory Council in Nipomo.
The County must decide how its going to regulate and tax commercial cultivation of recreational marijuana mainly in agricultural and rural areas of the county including Nipomo and the Nipomo Mesa.
The South County Advisory Council (SCAC) is drafting a letter to the SLO County Board of Supervisors outlining its recommendations on how to move forward with cultivation regulation including the conversion of flower greenhouses on the Nipomo Mesa to indoor marijuana farms which is already a highly profitable business for established growers.
"We recommend that we slow down on this decision regarding cultivation of cannabis and slow down on the process by initially saying no in 2017", says SCAC Chair Art Herbon at Monday night's meeting, "so that we can more fully evaluate after some key issues become more apparent to us."
Public input and concern from homeowners and property owners in the south county area include odor and air quality issues with marijuana farms and water usage which remains a sensitive issue in Nipomo and the Nipomo Mesa.
Some suggest using taxation to slow the rush to cultivation and what many at Monday night's meeting agreed is an inevitable boom in recreational marijuana cultivation and sales in the SLO County.
"100% percent tax doesn't seem unreasonable to me", said Nipomo resident Mike Young at Monday night's SCAC meeting, "I imagine that would pretty much eliminate cultivation for awhile until such time as a tax would be somewhat lowered in surrounding counties.":
Others warned the council the SLO County must act on Prop 64 policy before 2018 or risk having the State of California do it for them.
'I think we're better off making local, logical regulations than allowing the state to do that for you", said local attorney Jesse Hill who represents marijuana growers, "my understanding of Prop 92 is that if the county does not create regulations then the state is going to be creating regulations with respect to that and then you are going to be subject to those and then you lose independent control."
Ultimately it will be up to the SLO County Board of Supervisors to decide how to regulate and tax the cultivation of recreational marijuana, indoor and outdoor, in the unincorporated areas of the county.