Experienced and would-be marijuana farmers in San Luis Obispo County are drawn to the crop for many reasons, such as economic opportunity, access to medicine or religious purposes.
But hundreds of people who want to grow cannabis crops won’t be eligible for at least a year if the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors chooses to adopt the current cannabis land-use ordinance draft. Supervisors will discuss the issue again Nov. 7.
Under their plan, people can grow up to six plants each for personal use, and caregivers can grow up to six plants for each patient, up to six patients.
But folks who want to grow any more than that would have to get a land-use permit from the county — and the county plans to drastically limit how many they release.
Last week, the board said that for the next year they will only allow 141 people who are already registered with the county to have indoor or outdoor marijuana farms. Only people who registered their operation as a collective would be able to obtain a permit.
Some of the people that would be left out spoke up against the plan during a the public comment period at last week’s board meeting.
Here’s what they had to say:
▪ Shelby Bernard said she never thought she’d be a marijuana grower. But now that she and her husband purchased a piece of land zoned agricultural outside of Arroyo Grande, she said it’s perfect for the crop. It’s away from neighbors, and she has on-site water.
▪ Crystal Gries uses medical marijuana instead of addictive opioid drugs to manage pain from broken bones suffered in a car collision. She says she needs more than the six plants the county would allow her to grow.
▪ Kephas Neuhs is a Cal Poly graduate, a third-year law student and a registered Rastafarian. He’s grown medical marijuana under Proposition 215 in the county for the last 20 years. But he would not be eligible for the county’s program because he was moving his farm to new land during the registration period. He says he paid the registration fee to the county, but they declined to allow him to have a registered grow.