Pot dispensary owners sue SLO County

January 21, 2016

Medical marijaunaThe owners of Ethnobotanica, a nonprofit medical marijuana delivery service, have sued San Luis Obispo County over the board of supervisors decision to reject a proposed brick and mortar dispensary in Nipomo.

San Luis Obispo attorney Babak Nacify filed a lawsuit on Jan. 4 on behalf of Ryan Booker and Stephanie Kiel, who co-own Ethnobotanica. Booker has maintained a leadership role with the nonprofit, despite having his lengthy criminal history come to light.

The lawsuit claims the county abused its discretion because the denial of the project was not supported by substantial evidence. Rather, three supervisors voted to deny the dispensary based on vague and generalized concerns, the suit states.

On Nov. 3, the board voted 3-2 against a proposal to open a 2,500-square foot medical marijuana dispensary near the Santa Barbara County line.

Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill cast the two votes in favor of the dispensary. They argued the applicant could file a costly lawsuit if the board turned down the proposal.

Supervisors Debbie Arnold, Lynn Compton and Frank Mecham voted against the dispensary proposal. They cited crime and traffic concerns.

Additionally, both SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and District Attorney Dan Dow spoke at the November meeting in opposition to the planned dispensary. Parkinson said the response time to the location would not be good because it is on the outskirts of the county.

SLO County has an ordinance that allows medical marijuana dispensaries under certain conditions. However, county supervisors have rejected all four dispensary proposals that have come before the board since the adoption of the ordinance.



  1. CentralcoastRN says:

    They should put this weed shop in Oceano. They can tax the crap out of it. Put it where that disgusting Internet cafe was. The sheriff’s are down the road. Sylvesters is down the street for munchies. Stoners can walk, skateboard, hover round, ride the bus, or whatever on down to the smoke shop. The weed delivery people can easily pick up their stuff.

    Maybe some doctor will open up a practice charging locals $300 to get their medical marijuana cards nearby. Oceano will be a happening place again.

    Don’t fight it. It will happen.

    (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down

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