By Deb Murphy

With 24 licenses approved by the Inyo County Board of Supervisors, the cannabis landscape is taking shape.

Eighteen applications were approved at Tuesday’s meeting, primarily grow operations in the southeast portion of the County. Two applicants not reaching an 80-percent score were denied.

When the question was posed as to the number of applicants in Supervisor Matt Kingsley’s district, his typically Kingsley answer was “there’s more privately owned land in my district and the residents are more progressive.”

The Supervisors took a progressive approach to allocating limits to cannabis businesses more than a year ago. During that process, those communities with strong anti-cannabis leanings got their wish: no pot operations. Areas, like Kingsley’s southeast corner of the county, eager to take advantage of legalization also got their wish with a liberal number of licenses available.

So, here’s what that landscape looks like now:

  • Two retail operations north of the City of Bishop

  • No applicants went for licenses in Supervisorial districts two and four (Laws and Wilkerson to Independence, respectively)

  • Eight cultivation operations on five parcels, one retail and one microbusiness in the West Sage Flat Road, Coso Junction, Pearsonville areas. Licenses are identified per parcel, so those eight cultivation licenses represent only five since there were three on one parcel.

  • One cultivation less than 5,000 square ft. and one manufacturing operation in Tecopa

  • Two cultivation more than 5,000 square ft. and five less than, two manufacturing, one retailer and one microbusiness in Stewart Valley, Charleston View and Sandy Valley.

  • No licenses were authorized in Olancha/Cartago or West Bishop

The Board established a potential maximum of 110 licenses County-wide back in December 2017. After Tuesday’s approval session, that leaves another 86 available.

According to Inyo/Mono Ag Commissioner and pot czar Nate Reade, other application windows will open in the future.

“We open and close the windows since this is a competitive process,” he explained. “You need to draw the line somewhere when you’re ranking proposals against each other. We will continue to open and close those zones with licenses available until there are no longer any unclaimed licenses.”

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