SLO begins talks on new marijuana rules

March 16, 2017

With recreational use of marijuana now legal in California, the San Luis Obispo City Council held a special meeting Tuesday to begin talks on adjusting the city’s cannabis regulations.

Currently, San Luis Obispo prohibits all commercial and industrial recreational and medical marijuana uses, activities and operations. Likewise, the city limits outdoor cultivation of marijuana.

Proposition 64, which legalized recreational use of marijuana, allows cities to regulate cannabis businesses and even adopt outright bans on the sale of marijuana. The law also requires a state licensing scheme for marijuana businesses, which is expected to take effect in early 2018.

The San Luis Obispo council is now in the process off deciding whether the city will allow retail sales, commercial cultivation and other other related uses of marijuana. Additionally, the city must determine if and at what rate it will tax pot sales and whether it will impose environmental regulations that are stricter than existing state law.

For now, the council is opting to keep the city’s existing ordinance. The council wants to receive public comments on possible new regulations before adopting new marijuana rules. The city does not plan to draft a new ordinance pertaining to marijuana businesses until next summer. [Tribune]

On Tuesday, council members indicated initial support for allowing some marijuana businesses to open in San Luis Obispo.

Councilwoman Andy Pease said she supports having marijuana retail stores in SLO but questions whether they belong downtown. Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson recommended the city establish a maximum number of brick and mortar retail stores it will allow.

On the issue of marijuana farming, Christianson expressed concern that outdoor cultivation could be a drain on water and real estate. Commercial agriculture should take place outside the city limits, Christianson said.

Regarding taxation, Pease said, if the city overtaxes cannabis sales, it will send marijuana back to the black market. Assistant City Manager Derek Johnson said studies show, if taxes on marijuana sales reach the high 30 percent range, consumers will instead opt for illegal pot, which they can get cheaper.

Prop. 64 sets a 15 percent state marijuana sales tax. The city can add its own sales tax on top of the 15 percent rate.

Though the city does not plan to make ordinance changes quickly, Councilman Aaron Gomez raised a concern about existing city policy being inconsistent. The city cannot stop the transportation of marijuana on public roads, but it can ban deliveries to individuals and properties within the city limits, Gomez said. Gomez argued the city should not wait a year and a half to address that issue.







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7 Comments

  1. 1965buick says:

    Happy to see people are finally getting what’s important in life. For years now, people have gathered and gotten drunk, as witnessed by the explosion of fermented grape juice. Now, they can get high, too.

    (4) 10 Total Votes - 7 up - 3 down
    • jimmy_me says:

      Unfortunately, the people who own the grapes want you to keep getting drunk, because if you’re getting high, you’re not creating a market for their grapes. That causes them to create strange laws that are heavily biased against getting high; these laws of course don’t apply to grapes.

      (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  2. L.A.RamsFan says:

    Just limit the size of property one can grow on so we don’t have “farms” of cannabis out there related to one person. In No. Cal’ there is gentleman that bought ten acres and then sold off plots of 20″x20″ for around 15K a plot. He was responsible for the water sytem and would tend for a monthly fee but he made BANK on those plots! I’m not sure of his initial investment but whatever it was it wasn’t much compared to the return.

    Retail sales will someday rival alcohol without all those deadly side effects! Farming in Cali’ will be a challenge if this drought has more life to it than the past last year.

    Taxing it will be a boon! 30% is not bad when you consider some of the retail prices paid! The Feds’ will want to see their fare share as well, so don’t expect that 30% to be stagnant.

    Junk food sales will probably skyrocket! I know I keeps the Mars Company afloat!

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
  3. demiseofslo says:

    “On the issue of marijuana farming, Christianson expressed concern that outdoor cultivation could be a drain on water and real estate. Commercial agriculture should take place outside the city limits, Christianson said.”

    Like the wine industry doesn’t use alot of water?!

    (28) 32 Total Votes - 30 up - 2 down
    • r0y says:

      Don’t forget the Almonds! Delicious, yummy Almonds! Get them raw (delicious that way) or roast them yourself (even more delicious!)

      Grapes, schmapes. I’ll take almonds any day.

      (14) 22 Total Votes - 18 up - 4 down
  4. MrYan says:

    Where are all the free market Republican’s comments on government overreach?

    To be consistent they should be chafing at the idea of government telling a business where they should locate. Railing against picking winners and loser’s by limiting who can compete in this marketplace. Etc.

    The concern about over taxing and excessive regulation will not send it back to the “black market” as that market has never ceased to exist. It will push people to just grow what they need and barter between themselves.

    Pot smoker’s don’t like all the extra hassle–man. It’s all good. Don’t you know…

    What it will do push big business into this market place. As they will have the deep pockets to comply with all the new regulations. Zoning, operational safety, product safety ( yes they need to test the edible’s for purity and potency) all all the things that will soon be part of this industry.

    Honestly we should waive them in to compete with the wine industry.

    Side by side comparison. Pot is a soil refurbish-er, it can be grown anywhere and leaves behind more productive soil. Less water required too than wine.

    There will be pot boutiques on every back road in the county–just like the wine industry–you wait and see. And those people will not blush at a 30% tax. So go for it.

    (7) 19 Total Votes - 13 up - 6 down
    • r0y says:

      You are the first to comment, and yet you ask where are all the comments?

      Perhaps you should ask yourself, where is all the patience? Also, Republican’s aren’t really the “free market” types – though, they are generally more supportive than Democrats, I’ll give you that.

      To directly address your own hypothetical questions, free market does not translate to “do whatever, wherever you want” – that is grossly misunderstanding free market principles.

      I agree that there should be a certain amount of growth/production allowed per person, per year; much like beer and wine. It should be illegal to sell one’s own personal amount, also as it is with beer and wine.

      Big business will be “pushed” into a market if there is money to be made. That will happen regardless of regulation (or lack thereof). Again, for the “pot smokers” who don’t like all the extra hassle (who does?), the personal production quota clause would suffice, would it not? I’d really like to see that happen.

      What I would “rail” against is your non-nonchalant 30% taxation figure you threw out at the end. While I do love it when everyone pays their fair share, and sin taxes are one of the few ways to actually tax the poor, I do not think it should be excessive. Sales tax to start, then if problems arise (e.g. damage to lungs worse than tobacco) that warrant a additional sin tax, then so be it.

      Let’s hope the industry grows responsibly and steadily, with as little government involvement as needed.

      (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down

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