Plans for a Nipomo medical marijuana dispensary are expected to go before the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission next week, after failing to garner community support at a local advisory board meeting earlier this year.
The Planning Commission will hear a request at its meeting July 9 by Ethnobotanica Patients Cooperative to approve a minor use permit to operate a medical marijuana dispensary at a 2,636-square-foot-space at 2122 Hutton Road.
Stephanie Kiel of Santa Cruz announced plans this year to build the first brick-and-mortar offshoot of her mobile marijuana dispensary service, Ethnobotanica Patients Cooperative. Her mobile service, based out of Watsonville, makes deliveries in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties.
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Kiel sought a positive recommendation for the project from the South County Advisory Council, which acts as an advisory board for the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
"I want Ethnobotanica to be the dispensary to open in San Luis Obispo County, and the dispensary that stays open in San Luis Obispo County," Kiel said during her presentation to the council Feb. 23. "I think San Luis Obispo County wants this — whether they realize it or not."
The members of the council ultimately voted 9-2 to deny the request for a recommendation, citing concerns about the possibility of increased criminal activity in the area, as well as confusing disparities between state and federal law on medical marijuana.
In its recommendation to the Planning Commission, planning staff did not share those concerns, saying that "the establishment and subsequent operation or conduct of the use will not, because of the circumstances and conditions applied in the particular case, be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the general public or persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the use, or be detrimental or injurious to property or improvements in the vicinity of the use because the proposed medical marijuana dispensary, as proposed and conditioned, does not generate activity that presents a potential threat to the surrounding property and buildings."
Kiel did not respond to requests for comment.
The complete proposal is available on the county planning website at http://agenda.slocounty.ca.gov/agenda/sanluisobispo/Proposal.html?select=4856.
The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. July 9.