Inyo Supervisors receive marijuana tutorial

By Deb Murphy

One thing was clear after the public comment period at the Planning Department’s presentation on upcoming community outreach meetings on marijuana operations during Tuesday’s Inyo County Board of Supervisors’ meeting: the industry has come a long way from growin’ your own under bright lights in a bathroom.

Reginald Cook, a medical marijuana grower, gave the Board a tutorial on potential retail pricing, labor costs and needs for large operations and the high percent of unacceptable herbicide, pesticide and mold levels coming out of some testing labs.

John Miler, sitting on manufacturing zoned acreage in Olancha suggested the County approve testing labs, regulate delivery services and get around the federal laws against banks accepting “drug money” by laundering it through the County. Okay, he didn’t actually use the word “laundering.” Cook’s recommendation was to encourage small, state banks to offer financial services to the new businesses to get away from the cash-only issues.

Residents from Round Valley to Trona will get a chance to weigh-in on and learn about options available to the County to embrace, or not, this new industry in what Planning’s Cathreen Richards described as March Madness. The public outreach presentations start March 6 in Big Pine and end April 5 in Tecopa. The meetings will be publicized in advance of each session. Here’s a sneak preview:

The County can’t regulate personal possession of an ounce or less by an adult or the right of individuals to cultivate six plants indoors. All commercial businesses, however, can be banned or regulated. The majority of voters indicated acceptance of commercial marijuana operations on the November 8 ballot.

Richards used a map of Big Pine to illustrate state law prohibitions, current zoning and land or structures large enough for a viable commercial operation. While each community will vary, it was obvious no one will be overrun with large-scale operations.

The public will be able to comment on an acceptable or tolerated size and location of commercial cultivation; whether manufacturing of edibles or extraction operations using solvents are okay. The same for retail store fronts and microbusinesses, the only licensing category that allows for a combination of operations (that is, cultivation, manufacturing—not using solvents—and retail. The size restrictions on microbusiness licenses limits these operations to what is described as “Mom and Pop” businesses.

Some of the tools available to the County’s zoning ordinances are overlay districts and application for a conditional use permit.

The County can also allow or ban consumption on a business site—similar to cigar bars but without the liquor.

The only business category not on the table was delivery services. All other considerations come under land use and the Planning Department.

Following the presentation and public comment, Supervisor Matt Kingsley, acknowledged the input of local cultivators or potential cultivators, suggested a registry for industry people following the public outreach meetings.

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7 Responses to Inyo Supervisors receive marijuana tutorial

  1. wagonrd February 18, 2017 at 7:03 am #

    I have never smoked weed, so don’t have a clue as to what mesmerizing effects it has. If it is similar to getting wobbly on Hawaiian Mai ties, then I don’t want anything to do with it, especially the vomiting part. Users say that weed smoothes out their lives, making the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune bearable. If so, have at it, for there are all sorts of “hurts” in our lives. My “hurts” have never been mitigated by getting pie eyed on jack Daniel’s, kumbiya chants, prayers, yoga, or staying in bed for 12 hours. However, should I become permanently disabled, or catch a terminal disease, I may smoke weed in hopes it hastens my departure while I smile in utter bliss.

  2. knowthetruth February 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

    I am so sick of the whole medical marijuana issue. You can try to sugar coat it, but no matter what you say and what science you produce, NO physician worth is medical degree, will tell people to smoke unless they have 6 months to live. Then, by all means, smoke yourself blind. You want to eat it, great, but smoking it does not improve your health. PERIOD. If you want to smoke (anything) you should NEVER be allowed to obtain any form of healthcare in which the public pays for your health problems. The only thing that smoking creates is health issues. You want to smoke, don’t come crying when you develop cancer, COPD, emphysema, obesity, heart disease, and the list goes on and on. Eat all the weed you want, make a lovely tea, but smoking? Seriously? What is wrong with you? Stop putting your head in the sand.

    • Scott February 17, 2017 at 7:04 am #

      How does smoking contribute to obesity more than eating, drinking a “lovely tea”, etc?

    • Trouble February 18, 2017 at 5:52 am #

      Knowthetruth, you make a great point about it would be wiser and healthier to eat it, then to smoke it. But you sound like you are agianst it becoming legal. Is that correct?

  3. Trouble February 16, 2017 at 3:55 am #

    Great article. Hopefully, education and a more honest opinion of what is really happening concerning legalized pot will help clam down some peoples fears .
    In my personal opinion, it’s a lot better for some people then drinking booze or taking meds.

    Thanks Deb, keep it up.

  4. tourbillon February 15, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    Very advanced. American culture has finally reached the glory point: anesthetizing the population using good science to produce drooling imbeciles.

    I wonder who we will elect next in our numb state of mind.

    • Trouble February 16, 2017 at 5:19 am #

      Tourbillion, very well said. I totally disagree, butI you make a few good points. I think what we have here is the effects of a protest vote agianst our politically correct morons , Morons trying to run our lives, instead of our goverment.

      Did you know that Goerge Washington sold booze and pot.
      And the last advise he gave this country as President was to stay out of foreign affairs. They were so free, they were all allowed to practice salavery.


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