San Luis Obispo County continues to see requests for permits to grow and sell legal marijuana with two new locations in Nipomo and rural Arroyo Grande.
An L.A.-area company is seeking a county permit for nearly three acres of outdoor cannabis cultivation and 22,000 square feet of indoor cannabis cultivation at a greenhouse nursery along Eucalyptus Road in Nipomo.
On the other side of the mesa in rural Arroyo Grande, a Conditional Use Permit is being sought for a cannabis manufacturing, distribution and non-storefront retail delivery facility on a parcel of land at 2115 Willow Road-Highway 1.
“I’m okay with it, hopefully it doesn’t smell too bad,” said Willow road resident Molly Smith.
Smith says changes on the Nipomo Mesa are part of the changing times with legal cannabis. “A lot of people are are turning to that for medical. My mom has cancer and they might recommend that for her. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it’s better than being on opiates and stuff,” Smith said.
As local jurisdictions continue to grapple with regulating the growing cannabis industry, impacts of pot farms in communities, including odor, remain an issue even for those who support legalization.
“If it’s smelling up your neighborhood, you’re not going to like that,” said local resident Ed Longstreth. “It doesn’t matter if it’s cannabis or what not, if it’s something that stinks, I don’t want it blowing by my house.”
“It’s a business now,” Smith said. “It’s better than the other drugs people are dying on.”
Other concerns expressed by neighbors of pot farms in the area include safety and security, given the cannabis industry’s large cash business, and potential negative impacts to property values.
The two new cannabis permits sought in Nipomo and Arroyo Grande were discussed recently by the South County Advisory Council.
EDITORS NOTE: An earlier version of this story included an inaccurate address for the location of the cannabis permit sought on Willow Road, and has been corrected. The station regrets the error.