SLO city open-minded on marijuana but affirms ban



The San Luis Obispo City Council re-affirmed its status quo ban on all cannabis-related businesses at a March 14 meeting, but it’s leaving the door open to future changes as the city embarks on an extensive public outreach effort.

Over the next year, city staff will engage with the community about desired marijuana regulations in the wake of Proposition 64’s passage, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older. SLO says it wants to take a “holistic” approach and ask for residents’ input on the full range of issues, from brick-and-mortar dispensaries, deliveries, cultivation, and taxation. SLO’s eventual cannabis regulations will be closely tied the city’s zoning, which is also up for a revision.

Results from the outreach are expected to come back to the City Council in 2018, with a potential election to vote on a local cannabis tax in November 2018.

City Councilman Dan Rivoire said affirming the current ban isn’t about the city turning its back on residents who voted for Proposition 64, but about buying time and retaining local control as the community charts its course.

“The reason small cities are doing this is because [otherwise they] default to what the state says,” Rivoire said. “The community wants to maintain local control.”

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