San Luis Obispo one step closer to allowing cannabis to be sold in city limits

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jul 27, 2018

Marijuana is one step closer to being legally manufactured and sold inside San Luis Obispo city limits.

Seven zones Cannabis Business Zones — most of which cover land in the southern side of town — only go into effect if voters approve the revenue measure this November.

On Wednesday, the Planning Commission approved to send the maps, each with their own set of rules, to City Council.

Advocates say they appreciate the city’s handling of the issue.

"I think as an industry association, we’re very encouraged," said Christopher Matthews, Communications Director for Central Coast Cannabis Council.

A full range of cannabis businesses would be welcome in these zones including manufacturing, distribution, and retail.

"The primary limitation would apply to the store front retail and there would only be three of those allowed," said Michael Codron, Director of Community Development for the City of San Luis Obispo.

Within the boundaries are buffer zones. Cannabis businesses would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of any school or playground, 600 feet from any daycare, and 300 feet from any residence. SLO is taking a more regulated approach than other cities.

"With the point of establishing a strong locally based industry that can thrive under the regulations," said Codron.

Though industry advocates like Matthews are concerned with some of the limitations as well as high taxes on the table, creating a high barrier of entry.

"We’ve seen that in so many municipalities across California," Matthews said. "When you cap things, there is a scarcity and only the biggest people are able to play."

The discussion will be for naught if voters say no to the cannabis taxation question on November’s ballot. 

"The community has an important say whether or not cannabis business operations will be allowed to occur within San Luis Obispo," Codron reminded.

City planning has taken suggestions and concerns into crafting the proposed boundaries. There was zero testimony opposing these maps at Wednesday’s planning commission meeting.

City Council will address the issue and vote on the boundaries Sept. 4.

You can see a detailed overlay of the Cannabis Business Zones here.