SLO County adopts pot farm ban, but lets current growers stay

September 21, 2016

Pot grow 9

Seven weeks in advance of a statewide vote on legalization of marijuana, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors narrowly passed a moratorium on new cannabis grows in the county. However, the urgency ordinance will allow growers who recently rushed into eastern SLO County to continue operating their unpopular pot farms in the area.

On Tuesday, a majority of the supervisors attempted to pass an ordinance that would kick marijuana growers out of the sparsely populated California Valley. They were stifled by supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill.

Sheriff Ian Parkinson

Sheriff Ian Parkinson

Sheriff Ian Parkinson, one of the leading proponents of a marijuana moratorium, stated during the board hearing that there are currently more than 200 marijuana grows in the California Valley, and a number of the growers are affiliated with gangs. Officials previously received numerous complaints about men with guns protecting pot farms in the California Valley, as well as about harmful chemicals being used at the marijuana grow sites.

Supervisor Debbie Arnold proposed an ordinance that would have given California Valley growers until December to shut down their pot farms. Gibson and Hill objected to the proposal, which needed four votes to pass.

After a California Fish and Wildlife official discussed how the marijuana operations are harming endangered species in the area, Gibson, as a compromise, proposed a moratorium on new grows that would allow existing pot farms to continue operating indefinitely. The supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of Gibson’s proposal.

Hill cast the dissenting vote. He said drugs should be legal.

Adam Hill

Adam Hill

“I’m trying to overcome a lifelong objection I have to criminalizing drugs because all of the policies that have gone on in this country to do so have failed,” Hill said. “That doesn’t mean that I have any desire to advocate the use of drugs.”

In anticipation of Californians voting in November to legalize recreational use of cannabis, the county is currently working on a permanent marijuana ordinance. Still, Arnold said she is disappointed that, in the meantime, the board failed to address a situation that is unsafe.

Debbie Arnold

Debbie Arnold

“There are over 200 grows, and some are affiliated with out-of-area gangs. I tried to have an ordinance passed that would address those issues,” Arnold said following Tuesday’s meeting. “I am very disappointed that Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson would be so disrespectful to my constituents.”

Arnold’s district includes the California Valley.

The board of supervisors will discuss permanent marijuana regulations after the Nov. 8 election.


After reading immediate thumbs down! ADAM HILL is a wonderful law abiding total law enforcement supporter. Glad I left your state. DONE !


Why are you posting to a local journalistic new source if you are not local?


Hey Adam ! U know u won’t be anywhere around when SH#T goes down ! But these paid servants and cal valeey families have no BUCK in this to gain. Just u. Hey, put a house out there. After all, to u it’s a $$. To these residents there now it is their kids,their safety,a militia armed to make u bucks and law enforcement that want and need to get home safely to families. Oh, yea for you it’s that $$$$$$$$$.


No one ever seems to mention the wine industry; disrupting aquifers, bringing in big business and hardcore capitalism at its worst, extorting immigrants, encouraging exacerbated development of suffering communities, destroying land, altering rent and real-estate to inflated levels, causing murder and homicide nationally statistically with more deaths than marijuana. Id say the only reason aside from lack of regulation for taxation and wanting more time for political reasons, would simply be ignorant citizens of a naive disposition; whom disagree with legalization. Banning legal growing and implementing this could have legal repercussions on tax payers of SLO if this heads to court at the state level, if not in compliance with state ordinances. Would council ever set a law limiting the growth of wine, or even to think; banning it? ha


Oops sorry that was typo. Greedy person and so very sad for SLOSD. Again typo.


Well Mr.Parkinson your great supervisors hill has proven the following:

1. The safety of law enforcement here and the value of residents wanting the protection from bad guys means ZERO.

2. The dollar speaks. So,what is your opinion worth ?

3.Why not let Adam hill just ruin every land owners rights in California Valley for personal gain ?

This AHOLE cares not about land owners rights to personal safety let alone,right to live in a safe un armed mode to protect freaking weed like a cartel.

What about families living there ? Really, there are kids in Calif Valley I am sure. You want them seeing this stuff ? Armed men,questionable activity ?



So lets see, County Supervisors can vote for a ban against pot farms but cities, such as Arroyo Grande can not vote to ban new buildings because we all know we need to stop the awful pot plant but not the increased use of water because we have plenty of it???????


I think Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson are being disrespectful of their entire constituencies. Not only is there a strong probability that these grows are being operated by some violent criminals, but I am very concerned about the types of chemicals they may be using. There are a lot of things unscrupulous growers might use that are dangerous to people and the environment. Some type of inspection and regulation system needs to be in place. And let’s not forget about water consumption. Most of these people are probably trying to make a quick buck and are not too concerned with stewardship of the land. These guy should be voted out.


Yep, these dudes should be growing grapes. Rape the landscape, dry up the ground water, use all the pesticides you want, don’t be a good “steward” of the land… no one, particularly the board of supervisors, will care. Easy living through hypocrisy.


Exactly. And if we still had alcohol prohibition we’d be dealing with black-market behavior out in the grape fields, too.


There are laws to cover the misuse of chemicals and the County Ag Dept. is capable of enforcing them. The problem is that they don’t have enough people to be patrolling Cal. Valley regularly and they might need some armed backup when they do. I do hope that the BoS gives adequate extra funding to both the Sheriff’s Dept and the Ag Dept. and that they find a way to tax the growers to provide those funds.


“That doesn’t mean that I have any desire to advocate the use of drugs.”

Did Mr. Hill manage to keep a straight face as he made that statement?


Arguing about which bars to raid and who to toss in prison 6 weeks before prohibition is abolished. Clueless. Nothing they say matters.

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