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.


The role of the supervisors is to determine if the project meets the requirements of the ordinance, not to undermine the process by injecting their personal beliefs. The applicant will win this lawsuit and the county will pay plenty of taxpayer dollars to defend itself.


I thought legalized marijuana was supposed to raise government “revenue”, not cost the taxpayer money.

Provide all of the supervisors with a few of those high potency medical marijuana joints and have them vote on this one again.


Dispensaries offer patients discrete accessibility and convenience, particularly to those without homes to where delivery services are required to conduct their transactions.


Mean while, stores can sell Olympic swimming pools full of liquor in SLO County every week. This is all so ridiculous.

If you need medical marijuana, just grow your own. Don’t sell any of it. Keep only small amounts around the house. Don’t let anyone take any from your home. Don’t drive under the influence. The cops won’t waste their time doing anything about it. The silly little secret, that isn’t so secret, is that many people are getting their medical marijuana by growing their own or with the help of friends. Just DON”T SELL IT.


I am soooo wasted!!!!!


Dude, they are already doing business using delivery drivers. Nobody’s having their weed withheld.


where exactly do you think that medicine is being grown?

if every county in 100 miles bans cultivation; how is anybody going to get their medicine?


Get some good seeds a High Times magazine and a book on botany and grow it yourself.


I’m torn on legalizing drugs. Still, I find it ironic and don’t you think if someone saw this article headline 50 years, they’d think they landed on Mars.


Why was my previous comment deleted, Cal Coast News? It absolutely was not offensive!

Was it because I started out by mentioning I was in agreement with Hill and Gibson? Believe me. I’m surprised by that as well!

But I’m even more surprised by and disappointed in CCN’s quick act of censorship!


First the Pot industry is told they can’t be within so many feet or yards, of a school. They can’t be in down town, they CAN’T be here, or there. So this guy finds a place that meets all the requirements and now the Sheriff says we can’t respond to that location fast enough.

The pot industry can’t win for losing. You are to close or to far away.

It is proven to help, yet our ELECTED officials are basically telling people with cancer ect, we won’t let you have the drug of your choice, you have to take the addictive oxy or vicodin, that the FDA approved.