Nipomo pot shop proposal heads to planning commission
July 3, 2015
San Luis Obispo County planners are recommending approval of a Santa Cruz woman’s plan to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Nipomo near the Santa Barbara County line.
At its July 9 meeting, the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission will discuss Stephanie Kiel’s dispensary proposal. Kiel is the owner of Watsonville-based mobile dispensary Ethnobotanica, which delivers to Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties.
She is proposing a storefront dispensary at 2122 Hutton Road near highways 101 and 166. Kiel’s plans call for the dispensary to occupy a 2,636 square-foot commercial office suite within an 11,675 square-foot building.
Kiel estimates the dispensary will generate yearly sales of between $3 million and $8 million. She must obtain a minor use permit from the county in order to open the business.
In February, the South County Advisory Council voted 8-2 against the project. Advisory council members said they have public safety concerns with the dispensary proposal due to the possibility of it causing increased crime and the limited availability of sheriff’s deputies in the area.
But, county planners say the dispensary, as proposed, will not be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the general public or the people working or living in the area. Conditions placed on the dispensary would require it to operate only between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., and plans call for an onsite security guard to be present 10 hours a day and seven days a week.
If the planning commission’s decision is appealed, the proposal will go before the board of supervisors. The board has rejected all three previous applications for storefront dispensaries in the county.