Advocates raise alarms about county cannabis policy – New Times SLO

Less than two weeks after San Luis Obispo County passed local regulations for the soon-to-be legal cannabis industry, a campaign seeking changes to the policy is underway.

click to enlarge File Photo LICENSING PROBLEMS Cannabis industry advocates say SLO County’s marijuana regulations will make it impossible for businesses to operate within state regulations come Jan. 1, 2018.

Cannabis industry members say the new county ordinance, approved by the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 27 by 3-2 vote, makes it impossible for businesses to obtain state licenses at the start of 2018 and establishes onerous restrictions that will drive operators out of business.

Sean Donahoe, a cannabis industry consultant involved with the SLO County Cannabis Business Association and the California Growers Association, told New Times he’s preparing a ballot initiative aimed at collecting enough signatures to put the policy in front of voters.

“[The county supervisors] are not able or willing to govern rationally about this,” Donahoe said. “So we need to take this issue out of the hands of this Board of Supervisors.”

Per the county ordinance, eligible cannabis businesses, from cultivators to delivery services, will have to apply for discretionary permits from the county—a process that will likely take several months, according to county officials.

But in the interim, the county has no plans to provide businesses the written authorization required to receive temporary state licenses. The state plans to first issue temporary licenses valid for 90-day periods, and eventually issue annual licenses as the marijuana industry comes out of the dark.

Those state licenses are only granted with the authorization of the local jurisdiction.

“Temporary licenses require that applicants submit a local license, permit, or other written authorization,” said Rebecca Forée, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Food and Agriculture, in an email to New

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