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County responds to grand jury marijuana recommendations 

San Luis Obispo County officials have called grand jury recommendations pertaining to medical marijuana delivery services “unwarranted” and “unreasonable.”

In June, the San Luis Obispo County grand jury published a report detailing concerns over a lack of safe and reliable access for qualified patients of legal medicinal marijuana countywide.

In its 15-page report, Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Medical Marijuana in San Luis Obispo County, the grand jury raised concerns over the alleged proliferation of delivery services they claim operate in an unregulated “gray market.” Currently, the report says, no local government regulates the roughly 40 or so services in the county—with the exception of Atascadero, which specifically prohibits such services from operating within city limits.

Grand jury reports are not legally binding, but are intended to inform local governments and perhaps inspire changes in public policy.

The report recommends not only allowing at least one brick-and-mortar storefront to provide access to medical marijuana, but also establishing a committee comprised of the county sheriff and other stakeholders to develop a “fair and viable” local ordinance to regulate such facilities. In addition, the jury recommended that each local government establish its own specific ordinance and keep track of how many collectives are delivering to patients.

Now the responses are starting to trickle in. On Aug. 21, the county Health Agency and Board of Supervisors responded that while county officials agree there are problems regulating such services in SLO County, a changing legal landscape has made medical marijuana risky territory.

“This is an inopportune time to develop local regulations given the fact the California Supreme Court is expected to issue rulings in the next few years related to how local jurisdictions regulate medical marijuana,” county supervisors wrote in their response.

Supervisors particularly took issue with the jury’s finding that there’s currently no oversight on these seemingly legal services. They pointed out the permitting process of the State Board of Equalization, and operating guidelines set forth by the state attorney general, but said that no collective has filed for a business license with the county treasurer-tax collector and officials don’t know how many services operate locally.

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