Nipomo marijuana dispensary shot down

November 4, 2015
SLO Board of Supervisors

Supervisors Frank Mecham, Bruce Gibson, Adam Hill, Lynn Compton and Debbie Arnold


The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday against a proposed medical marijuana dispensary in Nipomo.

Supervisors Lynn Compton, Debbie Arnold and Frank Mecham voted against the facility primarily because of crime and traffic concerns. Supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson voted in favor of the project arguing that because it was in compliance with land use requirements, it should be approved.

The applicant, Ethnobotanica, is one of more than 100 medical marijuana companies delivering to San Luis Obispo County. Proponents of the proposed brick and mortar pot shop said that some users are uncomfortable having weed delivered to their homes. Supporters also argued that there is a stigma on users because there is not a physical store.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson voiced his opposition to the dispensary because of crime  and law enforcement staffing concerns.

“I do not think the location is something that I can service,” Parkinson said. “It is on the outskirts of my jurisdiction. The response time is not going to be good.”

SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow asked the supervisors to wait until state regulations on marijuana are more established before approving a dispensary in the county.

Both Gibson and Hill argued that if the board did not vote in favor of the dispensary, the applicant could file a costly lawsuit.


Give it a couple years..


Reasons given for disqualification are absurd. Yet, there are more than enough mobile dispensaries to go around.

You better believe those in the mobile business are happy about this outcome. And the pretense that you have to get your pot from a gang-banger is just stupid.


So you are picking gang-bangers vs criminials as a better solution? Why do you think they want it in Nipomo? Nice choices!

Do these people (owner/employees( need background checks? Gov Brown just passed some legislation on this, we should see what it is. Also, if this setup is really for “the people in need” why is it so out-of-the-way in the skids of Nipomo? Would it not be better regulated in a center city in the County like SLO? Good regulations, police monitoring, centrally located SLO could better serve the people of this County in their time of need!


Seems like the ideal location would be on Kansas Ave. Close enough that the sherriff could service it, close to dogs, close to a military presence, and a spot for criminals released from jail to pick up a doobie for their walk back to SLO.

Jorge Estrada

Supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson again have shown their colors and sadly they will get kudos for their choices. One day they vote against property rights by supporting an ordinance that stops the use of property as currently zoned then at the next meeting, they support a Marijuana Store because of property rights and it’s consistency with zoning. I see their philosophical choices leaning toward more government and choices that create a need for more government. I liken this to a communistic agenda, nothing to laugh about and very adverse to the America we fight for. It is a fact that drugs, crime and all other ills that plague people will continue to exist but why publicly support the use of will altering drugs that weaken our drive and leave us vulnerable.


Actually, to answer your indirect question, it is easier to control the masses if they are stoned. It’s all about power, control and money which is why Adam and Dee Torres love the homeless!


To denie safe access to a medicine that helps people in many ways is not only harmful but also disrespectful. The people have a right to safe access. When this county allows the sales of a substance that causes much more harm, causes much more dangerous side effects has no medical benefits at all,the only benefits that this provides is making winery owners rich. The board used crime an traffic as a excuse. Did anybody hear about the fight at a winery last week that ended up with a mans throat slashed? Of cousre not the W.C.A. wouldn’t want that kind of publicity.


Did you really write the word “safe” in referencing Nipomo a few miles from Santa Maria?


Thanks to Compton, Arnold and Mecham for doing the right thing. I am not surprised at Gibson’s vote, but somewhat taken aback by Hill’s vote. Does he not know what Mrs. does? Does he not hear from her about the impact drugs (per the feds CSA, marijuana is a highly addictive Schedule 1 drug with no medicinal value) have on the homeless that she works to help? I bet he will hear about this tonight.


I just chatted with Dee Torres-Hill and I was wrong. She fully supports Hill’s vote and accuses the three nay-voters of lacking common sense and compassion. How disappointing. I was going to tell her that one man’s compassion is another’s tax, that blind justice and neutrality are preferable to targeting one person or group for special treatment, but I did not. What’s the use?


You are living in the refer madness days jonhartz…..Rich people made it illegal for their own personal/business gain while thousands of children who needed it died from seizures they didn’t need to have. Read what is happening today all over the world……if cannabis was discovered in the Amazon today….it would be lauded as the greatest medicinal find in history! Because of big pharma and some other extremely rich people who could not compete with hemp that will never happen. Face it, big pharma doesn’t want people growing a plant in their backyard that will handle 80% of what ails you. As for SLO County…….Maybe next year with the right operators. Adam Hill was right on doing what he was voted in to do. Represent the people for what is best for everyone, not just the rich folk.


“the rich folk”? Repeated three times? Talk about the “reefer madness” era, your antique populism is only about 100 years out of date. You and Ochs should meet.


Nope, sorry folks. It looks like we’re going to be stuck with black markets and the crime they inherently produce.


For a moment there I thought you were talking about open carry of firearms….this is a great argument for it…no more underground illegal gun transfers, much less crime! Let’s see if the logical connection will be accepted or compartmentalized by cognitive dissonance…


Same ol’ $!#%…different day.


So would they rather we by from some gangbanger in Nipas or Santa? Thanks for denying medicine to hundreds if not thousands of people. Asswipes!!

Mike Byrd

This was a political decision, not a land use planning one. Twice before the board has overruled planning staff and the planning commission, saying such a business should be located away from homes and schools. So when one is proposed away from a population center they shoot it down because, well, it’s away from a population center. And it’s a superb irony that it was the three conservative “pro-business” supervisors who said no to this business that satisfied all zoning requirements.

Maybe it’s time to stop wasting everyone’s time and money and abandon the pretense. It would be a lot more fair to potential applicants to just remove this use from from the county code so it is clear upfront that they are not welcome in SLO County.


Exactly. It’s all pretense. Fact is they are from an older generation and just don’t approve of marijuana.

Then, after a long day of work they’ll go home and get blitzed off 4-6 alcoholic drinks. That’s just their generation.



How do you know these people consume 4-6 alcoholic drinks per evening?

Just curious…

Kaiser Bill

What older generation?

All of the Supervisors came of age in the 60s, 70s, or 80s when marijuana was rampant.


It is a lot more fun to smoke up in the morning, a little more at noon, and a lot later and walk around buzzed all day with no one the wiser, except you act stupid.


so now we know your secret!



Do you think this was a political decision for law enforcement?

Mike Byrd

Justbeware, honestly, I don’t know. If the Sheriff’s Department has consistently opposed all the winery events centers and other business that are located in the sticks with long response times, then I’d so no. But if this one business was singled out because of their (legal) ware, that would have to be a yes.