SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The future regulation of commercial marijuana production and sales in San Luis Obispo County is now under review with the county hosting public hearings for input on a new ordinance.
The new cannabis ordinance will govern the more than two million acres of land in unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County.
With the passage of Proposition 64 by California voters last November, counties, cities, towns and other local jurisdictions are scrambling to draft ordinances that will regulate and tax the rapidly evolving commercial and recreational marijuana industry.
"We need to start developing a much better idea of how much water is used by both indoor and outdoor grows", said James Caruso with the County of San Luis Obispo at a public hearing at the County Government Building Thursday night, "we've had a lot of discussions about what we call the preventative measures for indoor cultivation, we need to make sure that indoor cultivation doesn't have negative effect on neighbors."
"We're hoping that the federal government will stay out of it and let the state do what they want to do", said Los Osos resident Jim Guelker who attended the Thursday night hearing and plans to get into the commercial cannabis industry, "I think that's why the county is also looking at it too because they see the tax revenue that's involved with it and its beneficial to everyone."
Everything from water and utility impacts to the size and location of pot farms and dispensaries will come under the new county ordinance.
"It is our passion to help people, especially in times of pain and suffering", said Laurie Guelker a cancer survivor and strong advocate of the healing powers of cannabis, "there's such a wide variety of remedies that can be taken from this product."
"I hope to see as far as an edible maker that they are thinking about edibles", said edible cannabis manufacturer Mike Coulson, "I know that growing and dispensaries are the number one priorities, but I'm hoping there's still some thought about the edibles, and concentrates and things like that for the manufacturing side."
The input and testimony from the public hearings will be presented to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors when they begin reviewing a final draft of the new cannabis ordinance in the coming weeks.