County planners okay medical pot dispensary

July 9, 2015


The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission approved a use permit allowing establishment of a Nipomo medical marijuana dispensary on Thursday.

Following a three-hour hearing, the commission voted 3-1 to move the long-debated Ethnobotanica facility onto a fast track to opening. Commissioner Jim Harrison, who represents District 4 which includes Nipomo, cast the lone dissenting vote.

Opponents have the opportunity to appeal the decision to county supervisors; without such an appeal, the dispensary would be endowed with final approval.

“We were confident we would prevail here, and we anticipate prevailing on appeal,” said San Luis Obispo attorney Lou Koory, who represents Ethnobotanica.

The dispensary, which would be the county’s first, will be located at 2122 Hutton Road, in an industrial complex.

As approved, the Ethnobotanica plan will call for a seven-hour business day, opening at 11 a.m. seven days a week. After two years, the operation will be reexamined by planners to determine if all conditions of the use permit are being met. Additional security measures were added by the commission. Also, no online or paraphernalia sales will be allowed.

Ethnobotanica owner Stephanie Kiel said her business will be operated properly. “We are unique,” she said.

The matter came before the commission, according to planning staff, because of “considerable public controversy.”

Only a handful of people spoke against the application, while supporters and Ethnobotanica employees enthusiastically endorsed it.

The commission found that the application met all standards required by law, including its unique location — more than 1,000 feet from preschools, elementary and high schools, libraries, parks, playgrounds, and recreation or youth centers.

Noting that the South County Advisory Council opposed the project, resident Hans Hansen told commissioners that “Santa Maria gangs will have easy access to the dispensary. All you need is a couple of bad guys with guns waiting for the delivery truck.”


Nipomo is the dumping ground for slo and has been for years….. Affordable housing etc. They wanted to get this pot store as far from Cal Poly as possible. “Santa” has all the pot it needs already.


“All you need is a couple of bad guys with guns waiting for the delivery truck.”

You could say the same thing about every bank in the county. Therefore, I recommend that every bank in the county be closed immediately.


Actually the marijuana and banking system is a pretty complex problem. Since banks are afraid to breach federal law (in this regard), they will not do business with those who derive profits from marijuana even in states where it is legal. Securities firms also cannot open accounts for those in the marijuana industry for fear of prosecution.

As a result many in the business deal in cash. Definitiely a situation that needs to be resolved between state and federal law.


I just got a medical marijuana card from a quack doctor advertising in the new times. I told him that I sometimes get headaches, aspirin relieves it but I don’t really like to take aspirin.

It’s such a scam.


You sound like a quack yourself!




try it yourself. You can get a medical marijuana prescription for a hangnail.


a doctor can only provide a recommendation to use marijuana if you ask. it is no longer available as a prescription because of the narcotics acts 1934 even though it remained in the pharmacopeia (USP) as recently as 1957. a recommendation is not a Dr’s prescription.


I agree, I probably could claim a number of reasons to get a card.

I was wondering whether those “doctors” will diversify and start giving medical excuses for students to be exempt from vaccinations?


How long before the Feds bust it? Cant be too soon for me.


The chief executive is evaluating thirty thousand applications from those incarcerated for drug crimes clemency and pardons who knows who the last person fed prosecute for pot will be.


♪♫ Now they’re playing my tune….

Russ J

I’m all for smoken a little ghanjah wen u can get it, but come on man, stick downtown SLO with a pot shop first before you pick on poor old Nipomo. Morro Bay gets a cool coastal bridge from the Feds and we get a stoner store. Oh well, we ARE the arm pit of San Luis County. Come on Lynn, throw us a couple of bike trails so we can work off our Haggen Daas bellies. Tanks brudda – pas dat J.


Good decision, it’s about time!

miles archer

Enlighten yourself “south”.

This may be the single most intelligent approval that august appointed commission has made.

I know I speak for those who are suffering through chemotherapy when I say “THANK YOU”!

I know I speak for those who are suffering from PTSD, Crohn’s Disease, Epilepsy, MS, glaucoma, etc. when I say “THANK YOU”!

The list goes on and on as do my thanks for the commission’s decision!

BTW, if you fail to recognize the benefits of medical cannabis, might I suggest you view the enlightening series created by Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN about the benefits to those who suffer from a variety of maladies…it WILL open your eyes as it did mine.


Miles – I should probably expand on that. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with marijuana being used for medical purposes. My father benefited greatly from the anti emetic effects when he was in the last stages of chemo. I wished then that I didn’t have to sneak around buying it off weird characters and instead go to a pharmacy. So yes, there is a use for it. A pretty narrow one as there are prescription meds that work much better for all but one of the maladies you list.

So if it’s such a cure all, then go ahead, run it through the FDA and start selling it in regulated pharmacies. Growers can still make their fortunes, but do it legally and sell it to big pharma to homolgate, and if doctors think it works, they can write prescriptions that you take to Rite Aid.

But that won’t happen. Not because it has a stigma, but simply because there is so much better medicine out there. In fact the medical properties of MJ are synthesized and used today in meds. But you don’t get high off it, and that is the REAL reason it is purchased by 90% of the people who use it (anecdotal stat).


Shut up and smoke. Stop hating!


County Planning Commission, not County Planners. This may be the single most stupid approval that august appointed commission has made.