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Nipomo just says no to pot

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Plans to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Nipomo hit a snag on Jan. 25 when members of the South County Advisory Council unanimously decided they wouldn’t recommend the project’s approval to officials in the San Luis Obispo County Planning and Building Department.

The project applicant, Robert D. Brody of Los Angeles, is seeking a minor-use permit to operate the dispensary out of an existing industrial office space at 425 B North Frontage Road in Nipomo. Brody has the approval of the property owner, Carmel resident Brent Gross, according to an application filed with the planning department.

Nipomo residents, however, don’t seem to share much enthusiasm for the project: Out of the more than 30 people who lined up before the council to comment on the project, only five expressed their support.

Local law enforcement officials also appeared at the meeting to share their concerns with the council.

Brian Hascall, a commander with the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department, read a 2008 statement from Attorney General Jerry Brown declaring pot dispensaries illegal in the state of California: “The only recognized group entities are cooperatives and collectives.”

Planning department staff member Bill Robeson said the council’s recommendation will now be submitted to the planning department. It will most likely be used in a hearing to determine whether or not the project should be approved.

If the minor-use permit is declined, Robeson said, the applicant could appeal the decision to the Board of Supervisors.

“I think it will be appealed,” he said.

Calls made to project applicant Brody and property owner Gross weren’t returned as of press time

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