SLO County supervisors to vote on marijuana ordinance

August 22, 2016

Pot grow 9

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on an urgency ordinance that would put a halt to new marijuana cultivation in the county. Though the board directed county staff to draft the ordinance, there is a strong possibility the regulation will not pass.

Four votes are needed to adopt the marijuana moratorium, and supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill have expressed opposition to the proposal. Gibson, and particularly Hill, favor the idea of attracting marijuana businesses to SLO County.

In recent months, marijuana growers and armed guards have flooded into California Valley on the eastern edge of SLO County. Growers have been attempting to take advantage of the county’s cannabis regulations, which are perceived as lax by the medical marijuana industry.

County inspectors attempting to address code violations have voiced safety concerns.

“Documented gang members have been found at several of these sites,” according to the staff report. “A large variety of fertilizers, rodenticides, insecticides, and other harmful chemicals, many of them banned in California, are routinely found at these grow sites. Dangerous electrical and plumbing problems are also frequently encountered.”

Last month, supervisors Debbie Arnold, Lynn Compton and Frank Mecham responded to the concerns and directed staff to draft the urgency ordinance. Gibson and Hill voted against having staff craft the ordinance.

On Tuesday, the board will vote on the ordinance that would ban new marijuana grows that consist of seven or more plants. Under the urgency ordinance, individuals with marijuana prescriptions or their caregivers could cultivate up to six plants at a time. The grows could be indoors or outdoors and would have to be situated on spaces 500 square feet or less in size.

If approved, the ordinance would have a 45-day duration. The supervisors could extend the lifespan of the regulation to up to two years.

At the July board hearing, Sheriff Ian Parkinson endorsed the proposal of an urgency marijuana ordinance. Parkinson said marijuana growers are causing problems in the California Valley.

“I want to spend zero time on this, but when they are going on other people’s property or destroying the county, it needs to be addressed,” Parkinson said. “It boils down to, do you support the safety of that community out there? We are asking for some rules.”

Parkinson argued with Hill, who said he does not want to see an urgency ordinance resulting in drug raids. In response, Parkinson said his deputies knock on doors and ask to see permits, rather than going in with tanks and camouflage.

Growers reportedly poured into the sparsely populated California Valley after a marijuana magazine stated SLO County does not have any regulations and is tolerant of large cannabis grows. Marijuana growers from the Central Valley likened the opportunity to the Gold Rush.

Law enforcement officials recently estimated there were more than 100 fenced, half-acre to two-and-a-half-acre pot farms in the area. Farmers operating in California Valley are growing cannabis that will be sold to medical marijuana collectives.

Residents and visitors in the area have seen men with guns protecting the pot farms. Also, a soldier reportedly ran into armed gunmen protecting a grow.

Regardless the outcome of the vote on the urgency ordinance, the supervisors are expected to discuss permanent marijuana regulations following a statewide vote in November on the legalization of recreational use of cannabis. The supervisors voted last month to direct county staff to prepare a marijuana ordinance following the November election.



  1. demiseofslo says:

    How about an ordinance on all the f—ing land and water the vineyards take up, to make alcohol that kills people?
    No one dies from weed and all these stupid politicians need to get over it and change their attitude. They act like its crack or something, while I guarantee they all have enough pharmaceuticals in their medicine cabinet to put down a horse.

    (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  2. standup says:

    Once again, government staff using scare tactics to address this issue. “Illegal chemicals are often found at these grow sites?”. My a$$. Now I won’t argue that in some of the cartel grows in the middle of the forests may have had “these chemicals” but I seriously doubt it in these CA Valley grows. In fact staff, put your facts out and tell us where you got that information and list the chemicals for us and exactly where they were found instead of blowing out excrement out your pie holes. There are already laws against growing on public lands and we don’t need anymore. As far as the gang member crap, if anyone has some kind of conviction that prohibits cultivation or marijuana use, the law already covers probation/parole violations. Parkinson, go play on your stupid panga snatcher boat and do something worthwhile for once and leave these legit farmers alone. State law gives people the right to grow six mature plants per 215 patient. If there are two patients on the property, then that is 12 plants. I am so sick of marijuana patients being labeled and grouped together. That is about the same as saying all cops are bad because Parkinson’s own Corey Pierce was convicted of bribery and extortion. Or all vineyard owners are scum because of the Blunderful Company or all government employees are corrupt adulterers because of the AG Manager’s antics or all wine drinkers are bad because one guy got a dui. Supervisors Meecham, Compton, and Arnold, pull your heads out of your behinds.

    (-1) 21 Total Votes - 10 up - 11 down
  3. ironyman2000 says:

    I remember sitting in my easy chair and emptying tunafish cans and other stuff out the window and onto the ground where a few grass seeds lay. Not long after there was a nine foot tall and another eight foot tall plant.
    The stuff grows. Just like posies and roses.
    Forget keeping natural growth illegal. Dump the concept of any supposed need for it medically.
    Redirect those taxpayer dollars to actual needed law enforcement activity.

    (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
  4. Skip Tracer says:

    How much would you like to bet; Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson have a grow of their own in California Valley? Wannabe gangsters.

    (8) 28 Total Votes - 18 up - 10 down

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