The San Luis Obispo City Council made a move Tuesday night that could pave the way for recreational marijuana storefronts.
Council members approved the first reading of a foundational draft ordinance meant to address zoning and public safety issues associated with marijuana businesses.
According to the ordinance, three retail stores selling recreational or medicinal marijuana would be allowed in the city.
In addition, 70,000 square feet of indoor cultivation would be permitted. Home deliveries would be allowed, too.
The ordinance would establish a two-step process for prospective cannabis businesses. They’d need to be certified and ranked before they apply for a land use permit within San Luis Obispo.
City staff says the storefronts would need to be 300 feet away from residential zones and 1,000 feet away from schools and parks.
"There are six different overlay zones proposed, they are Higuera Street, Broad Street, Tank Farm Road near the airport… but none of them are located in the downtown area," said Michael Codron, San Luis Obispo’s Community Development Director.
Some city council meeting attendees think there should be less regulation for businesses.
"It seems foolish to me because alcohol is sold virtually everywhere in town. Since it’s more damaging than cannabis, I don’t think cannabis should be more strictly regulated," said Donald Thompson, a San Luis Obispo resident.
The city would also have some rules preventing large signage for potential marijuana businesses.
Events, as many cities have seen in California, would be prohibited.
If the ordinance is approved in the second reading, there would still be several more steps before residents will see a marijuana dispensary in their community.
The ordinance is considered tentative based on whether or not a tax revenue measure is approved by voters on the November ballot.
The council will be meeting in May and June to discuss taxation and further regulations.