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New cannabis regulations in effect for SLO County - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

New cannabis regulations in effect for SLO County

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New cannabis regulations went into effect Sunday for unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County.

The ordinance lays out the rules for both commercial and personal grows. Unfortunately, for the largest marijuana cultivation operation in SLO County these new regulations now means a major downsize.

"We're being asked to reduce down to 90%," said Sean Donahoe, Consultant for CFAM Management Group Inc.

Donahoe helps run the site on Mesa Road in Nipomo.

For the past year and a half, the facility has been operating on 260,000 square feet but under the new cannabis ordinance, 22,000 square feet is the new cap for indoor cultivation. 

"We're looking at trashing plenty of plants today," Donahoe said.
 
"I don't think it makes sense. All of these plants that were being grown were lawful. Medical cannabis that had patient records and collectives and cooperatives they were attached to."

At the same time, the county is allowing for three acres of green houses for CFAM. Another hit, Donahoe says they've laid off 70 employees this week.

"I think that's exactly what I was trying to prevent," said Supervisor Adam Hill. 

Supervisor Hill voted against the ordinance passed 3 to 2 by the County Board of Supervisors back in November.

Here are some of the ramifications: 

*Growers must own the land

*No brick and mortar stores are allowed

*Growers with more than six cannabis plants will need to apply for a land use permit

"Having a pathway to regulation is what everybody that's responsible wants. What really needs to be done though is looking at the economic impact of getting rid of these economic assets of the region," Donahoe said.

CFAM estimates their lay off is a $3,000,000 to $4,000,000 million hit to the economy. As far as enforcing the new ordinance.... 

"That's kind of the million dollar question because obviously, I'm totally opposed to any kind of heavy handed enforcement," Supervisor Hill concluded.

Because Monday's a holiday, this Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. is when land use permit applications can be turned in at the Government Center in Downtown SLO.

While there are more than 300 operations in the county, only 141 permits will be issued.

Supervisor Hill says during the Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 9, the Supervisors will discuss the ordinance and a way to create a temporary license so the grower can get the right permits at the state level.

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