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Revised cannabis farm plans get approval from SLO County supervisors

Posted: 6:32 PM, Mar 26, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-27 00:00:06-04

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to move forward with a proposed cannabis farm near Templeton based on some new changes.

The board initially approved a permit for indoor and outdoor cultivation on a 77-acre plot of land on York Mountain Rd. back in September, but resident Ian McPhee appealed that decision.

At the time, nearby residents told KSBY they were blindsided by the board’s approval of the project.

“I worry about crime. I worry about the smell. I worry about the lights. I worry about what it does to the environment. It’s just not a good fit for this area,” said neighbor Gary Bang.

But at Tuesday’s board meeting, the applicant presented a revised project. Changes included removing all outdoor cultivation, moving greenhouses 300 feet away from the property line, adding indoor and outdoor odor systems, and barn architecture. The improvements were reportedly based on neighborhood input.

Since September, the applicant says they’ve also reduced flowering canopy from 3.5 acres to .5 acre.

“This property fits the criteria that was established and exceeds all the requirements,” said Jamie Jones of Kirk Consulting.

Community members, including McPhee, also weighed in during the meeting.

“When I said no grow, I meant no grow,” McPhee said. “I didn’t mean no grow and then in two weeks or in ten years we do it.”

“Property rights, criminal, there’s a whole litany of other things that evolve around this,” said community member Dane Senser. “It always comes down to one thing – follow the money.”

“Alcohol is a dangerous drug but no one complains about a new vineyard going in,” said another community member, Scott McKenzie. “Meanwhile, cannabis has profound medical properties.”

The landowner also explained the cannabis at the site will be grown for pharmaceutical research.