By Deb Murphy
Following articles in area newspapers and his own press release, Supervisor Mark Tillemans made a formal statement during the report portion of Tuesday’s Board meeting, outlining the timeline of his decision to go into the cannabis business.
While he said there was only a “perceived conflict of interest,” he will recuse himself as Inyo closes in on the process of drafting ordinances regulating recreational cannabis businesses.
His interest in cannabis parallels his father’s battle with lung cancer. His father responded well to medicinal marijuana and was able to get off pain killers.
The response from the other four Supervisors was mixed. Jeff Griffiths pointed out the item was delivered as a report, not an agenda item and probably shouldn’t be discussed.
“It’s not for us to judge,” said Matt Kingsley. “It’s up to his constituents to decide.”
Rick Pucci was confused by inconsistencies between an article in The Sheet, Tillemans’ press release and his statements.
In his statement at Tuesday’s board meeting, Tillemans said he had no business dealings but had been doing research. However he said he had been offered a job in the industry, a job that didn’t pan out.
According to The Sheet, he formed a Limited Liability Company in mid-September, INYOSOL, LLC as a cultivation, manufacture and distribution business.
He also told The Sheet, he purchased land in Olancha, one of the few areas in Owens Valley where private land is available.
Tillemans will get a chance to recuse himself in just three weeks when the County’s Planning Department holds a workshop on potential ordinances to regulate all aspects of recreational marijuana at the November 7 Board meeting.
County CEO Kevin Carunchio said every effort would be made to get the Board packet out earlier than the required 72-hours.
Following the workshop, Planning Department staff will conduct a series of community workshops, an abbreviated version of its spring 13-stop cannabis caravan. The next step will be one more input session at a board meeting in late November or early December, then the regulations will go to the Board for discussion and a vote. Carunchio anticipated the vote would come by November 21 or December 5.