The cannabis industry continues to grow in Lompoc. The city council voted earlier this week on an ordinance that will allow temporary cannabis events to be held in designated city parks.
The city of Lompoc said that for now only two events will be allowed per year and in restricted locations.
Those areas include three parks: River, River Bend, and Ken Adam. Those will be the only city parks where cannabis events can take place.
“These locations are on the edges of town so that there is less likelihood of interaction with youth just out for the day, and hopefully, we put a cap of no more than 2,000 attendees," said Lompoc's mayor, Jenelle Osborne. "But the only park capable of that is either River Park or River Bend park."
Lompoc's mayor said the city looked at parks that had already been used for wine, music, and flower festivals.
Ken Adam Park will only allow edible consumption, no outdoor smoking will be allowed to address any fire hazards.
The mayor added that cannabis events will operate similar to a beer or wine festival.
“The cannabis events are much like that," explained Osborne. "There is a limitation on who can attend, proof of age has to be shown and cannabis events can be both consumption and non-consumption."
There will be other protocols in place.
“We required security to be hired for it as well as EMTs be on site as part of a program," said Osborne. "This is becoming the norm in lots of events in the U.S. and California."
Local cannabis stores said this is something they would like to participate in.
“I think it’s a great idea, I mean the more we can bring in just more educational knowledge about cannabis is here to the local area," said Amber Rivera, manager of Erba Market. "I mean we have so many dispensaries we might as well make Lompoc a place to come and enjoy and having outdoor events like that is a really good idea."
On the other hand, some say hearing about this ordinance has them in disbelief.
“I can’t believe they are going to allow that," said local resident Isabel Mac. "I don’t agree with it."
Mac said she doesn’t think this will benefit the city.
“I don’t think it’s a good image for Lompoc either, I really don’t," added Mac. "I mean when I see Santa Maria and other places don’t have this there’s got to be a reason."
City officials said event organizers can start applying for these permits through the city of Lompoc. It can take six months up to a year to receive approval of the permits from the state.
“This is part of revenue generation. We need to fund our parks and we do that through the utilization of it by other organizations that rent them. We don’t put on the events, but we lease them to these organizations," said Osborne.
The city council is asking for a report 90 days after the first event to see what the city can improve.