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San Luis Obispo city and county consider medical marijuana growi - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

San Luis Obispo city and county consider medical marijuana growing laws

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Medical marijuana will be a major topic of discussion at several Central Coast government meetings Tuesday. 

The cities of Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo, as well as San Luis Obispo County, all have it on their agendas. 

Central Coast lawmakers are rushing to implement local medical marijuana regulations before the close of this year, or at least draft such ordinances ahead of the impending state regulations in 2016. 

Pismo Beach will consider an ordinance regulating or banning growing the drug at Tuesday's city council meeting. 

San Luis Obispo City Attorney Christine Dietrick is asking the council to be specific on whether medical marijuana cultivation is allowed under the city's permissive zoning code. 

"It is really a clarification in light of the new state law," Dietrick told KSBY. 

The new state law requires municipalities to establish cultivation regulations by March 1. If they do not, local control will be ceded to the state. 

"Our position always is that local elected officials are in the best position to understand how best to respond to their community needs so these are measures that insure that the communities retain the greatest level of control moving forward," Dietrick said. 

San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will also take up the issue Tuesday and will either ban cultivation completely or begin drafting an ordinance. 

Supervisor Adam Hill says he's hoping for the latter.

"Just reacting and saying 'let's ban it,' I think would be a mistake," Hill told KSBY Monday.  

The supervisors will look to a 2012 Mendocino County law for guidance on how to write a similar ordinance here. 

Lawmakers say anticipation of a marijuana-related ballot measure next November is also propelling the mad dash. 

"There's a desire at least on my part to get ahead of the curve and start to have in place ordinances and policies that help us to really guide this if this is what happens with the voters," Hill said. 

Arroyo Grande city leaders are already considering a ban on cultivation. 

Santa Maria recently voted against medical marijuana growing operations within city limits but patients can have the drug delivered from other cities. 

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