San Luis Obisbo (SLO) County Cannabis Rules and Regulations

SLO County Cannabis Rules 

 

This information was originally posted by the San Luis Obispo Administrator’s office and can be found at: https://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/Administrative-Office/Administrative-and-Budget-Services/Services/Cannabis-Rules-in-SLO-County.aspx

This page offers information regarding different regulations in local incorporated cities that are governed by a city council, along with unincorporated areas that are governed by the SLO County Board of Supervisors.

PLEASE NOTE: This information is subject to change at any time. For the most updated information and regulations, please contact your local jurisdiction.

In California, each local government has different regulations and rules for selling commercial cannabis. It is no different in SLO County. In fact, depending on where you are located, the rules can vary.

SLO County: Unincorporated Areas

Cannabis-related policies are set by the SLO County Board of Supervisors. It serves as a legislative branch for unincorporated areas, including:

• Santa Margarita
• Pozo
• Garden Farms
• Creston
• California Valley
• Palo Mesa
• Oceano
• Nipomo Mesa
• Nipomo
• Los Berros
• Huasna-Lopez
• Halcyon
• Cuyama
• Callendar-Garrett
• Black Lake Canyon
• Sunset Palisades
• Squire Canyon
• Shell Beach
• Rolling Hills Estate
• Edna Valley
• Edna-Los Ranchos
• Country Club
• Avila Beach
• San Simeon
• Los Osos
• Harmony
• Cuesta College
• Cuesta-by-the-Sea
• Cayucos
• Cambria
• Cal Poly State University
• California Men’s Colony
• Baywood Park
• Whitley Gardens
• San Miguel
• Shandon
• Oak Shores
• Lake Nacimiento
• Cholame
• Adelaide

Cultivation of Personal Cannabis: Land use permits are not required If you have six cannabis plants (per dwelling unit) that are grown indoors for personal use. A permit is also not required if you have six cannabis plants (per site) that are grown indoors through a caregiver. However, a caregiver is required to hold a county business license. Outdoor caregiver or personal cultivation is not allowed.

Cannabis Dispensaries: A Type 9 State license is required for delivery only (mobile dispensaries) cannabis dispensaries, which are the only dispensaries that are allowed to operate. Public storefront dispensaries that require a Type 10 State license are not allowed. Subject to a land use permit, dispensaries may be permitted in the following land use categories: Rural Lands (RL), Residential Rural (RR), Industrial (IND), Commercial Service (CS), and Agriculture (AG). Land use categories in RR, RL, and AG are limited to products that are either manufactured or grown onsite.

Cultivation of Commercial Cannabis: Land use categories with restrictions, such as setback and minimum site size requirements, in Industrial (IND), Residential Rural (RR), Rural Lands (RL), and Agriculture (AG), may be permitted for the commercial cultivation of cannabis. Applicants can apply for a land use permit to cultivate commercial cannabis if they have an approved collective/cooperative registration under Ordinance 3334.

Two outdoor operations are permitted per site on AG-zoned sites that are between 10 and 25 acres. Three outdoor operations are permitted per site on AG-zoned sites that are larger than 25 acres. Only one operation per site is allowed for outdoor cultivation on RL-zoned sites. Cannabis may be cultivated indoors on a 22,000 square-foot site. Cultivation can be accomplished through one or multiple operations. Operations are limited in size to one State license. In order for an operation to be transferred by a cultivator to another property, a new land use permit must be obtained.

Cannabis Nurseries for Commercial Use: Cannabis nurseries that are being used for commercial purposes are allowed in the Industrial (IND), Residential Rural (RR), Rural Lands (RL), and Agriculture (AG) land use categories. Multiple permitted nurseries can be used for commercial cannabis, as there is no limit to how many nurseries a cultivator can have.

Cannabis Manufacturing Facilities: The Industrial (IND) and Commercial Service (CS) land use categories can use non-volatile manufacturing plants to produce cannabis. If cannabis is grown onsite, the facilities may also be permitted in the Agriculture (AG) land use category. According to Type 7 State licenses, cannabis that is manufactured using volatile methods is not allowed. In addition, edible cannabis that resembles fruit, insects, animals, or people is prohibited from being manufactured in a facility.

Testing Facilities for Cannabis: The Industrial (IND) and Commercial Service (CS) land use categories permit the use of cannabis testing facilities.

Distribution Facilities for Cannabis: The Industrial (IND) and Commercial Services (CS) land use categories permit the use of cannabis distribution facilities. Land use types apply to applicants who plan on operating a standalone warehouse facility as a third party distributor.

Sensitive Use Separation: Cannabis activities must be separated at a minimum of 600 feet from any licensed sober facility, licensed alcohol or drug facility, youth or recreation center, playground, park, library, high school, junior high school, elementary school, or preschool. Using a direct straight line measurement, distance will be measured beginning with the nearest point of the site’s property line containing the cultivation to the nearest point of the enumerated use property line. Nurseries and cultivation must be separated 1,000 feet from the uses above, but a modification can be requested.

Water: In areas containing a Groundwater Basin at the Level of Severity, cannabis nurseries and cannabis cultivation require a 1:1 offset, unless the land use permit process requires a higher offset by CEQA review. For the respective basins, a water offset scan can be accomplished through a conservation program approved by the County. Trucked-in water cannot be used as a water source for cannabis activities.

Air Pollution Control: Prior to operation, cannabis processing plants must submit an application for an Authority to Construct (ATC), and are subject to permitting requirements by the Air Pollution Control District (APCD). Application requirements, including the Cannabis Processing and Manufacturing Application, are on APCD’s website.

Contact Information: Call (805) 781-5011 for more information.

All land use questions should be directed to the County Building and Planning Department at (805) 781-5600.

Contact the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office at (805) 781-5831 for all business taxation and licensing inquiries.

For assistance with weights and measures, pesticide use information, pest management, and agriculture resources, contact (805) 781-5910.

SLO County Incorporated Areas

Regarding cannabis, every incorporated city has a different set of rules they must follow. Cannabis rules in each local city’s government may be subject to change. You can visit the following cities’ respective websites to view the most recent cannabis ordinances that were passed in Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo.

The City of Arroyo Grande

Last Update: December 28, 2018

The rules within the city limits of Arroyo Grande are as follows:

Cannabis Dispensaries: Storefront dispensaries are not allowed. The City doesn’t have a local permit requirement for cannabis deliveries by State-licensed operations.

Cultivation of Commercial Cannabis: Outdoor or indoor cannabis cultivation for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Cultivation of Personal Cannabis: Up to six cannabis plants per dwelling unit are permitted and may only be grown indoors. Cannabis may not be cultivated outdoors for personal use.

Cannabis Testing/Manufacturing: Cannabis manufacturing and testing facilities are prohibited.

Contact Information:
Matthew Downing
mdowning@arroyogrande.org
(805) 473-5424

Additional Information: https://www.arroyogrande.org/Search?searchPhrase=cannabis&pageNumber=1&perPage=10&departmentId=-1

The City of Atascadero

Last Update: December 10, 2018

The rules within the city limits of Atascadero are as follows:

Cannabis Dispensaries: Public storefront dispensaries are not allowed. If a dispensary is located outside of the City limits, medical and recreational cannabis can be delivered.

Cultivation of Commercial Cannabis: Outdoor or indoor cannabis cultivation for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Cultivation of Personal Cannabis: Up to six cannabis plants per dwelling unit are permitted for personal use. Cannabis may be cultivated indoors or outdoors.

Cannabis Testing/Manufacturing: Cannabis manufacturing facilities are forbidden. Cannabis testing facilities are allowed.

Contact Information:
Phil Dunsmore
pdunsmore@atascadero.org
(805) 461-5000

Additional Information: https://www.atascadero.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=88&Itemid=1506

The City of Grover Beach

Last Update: December 11, 2018

The rules within the city limits of Grover Beach are as follows:

Cannabis Dispensaries: Up to four cannabis retailers are allowed. They may deliver from their facility or be open to the public.

Cultivation of Commercial Cannabis: Cultivating commercial cannabis indoors is permitted. Cultivating commercial cannabis outdoors is prohibited.

Cultivation of Personal Cannabis: Up to six cannabis plants per dwelling unit are permitted and may only be grown indoors. Cannabis may not be cultivated outdoors for personal use.

Cannabis Testing/Manufacturing: Volatile cannabis manufacturing facilities are allowed. Cannabis testing facilities are allowed.

Contact Information:
Janet Reese
jreese@groverbeach.org
(805) 473-4520

Additional Information: https://www.grover.org/index.aspx?NID=333

The City of Morro Bay

Last Update: December 11, 2018

The rules within the city limits of Morro Bay are as follows:

Cannabis Dispensaries: A limit of two public storefront medical dispensaries are allowed. Storefront recreational dispensary menus are prohibited. Delivery dispensaries may only deliver to medical dispensaries using mobile deliveries.

Cultivation of Commercial Cannabis: Outdoor or indoor cannabis cultivation for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Cultivation of Personal Cannabis: Up to six cannabis plants per dwelling unit are permitted for personal use. A limit of two outdoor cannabis plants may be grown outside for personal use.

Cannabis Testing/Manufacturing: Cannabis manufacturing and testing facilities are prohibited.

Contact Information:
Scot Graham
sgraham@morrobayca.gov
(805) 772-6291

Additional Information: http://www.morrobayca.gov/Search?searchPhrase=cannabis

The City of Paso Robles

Last Update: February 18, 2018

The rules within the city limits of Paso Robles are as follows:

Cannabis Dispensaries: Public storefront dispensaries are not allowed. Delivery dispensaries may only deliver to medical dispensaries using mobile deliveries.

Cultivation of Commercial Cannabis: Outdoor or indoor cannabis cultivation for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Cultivation of Personal Cannabis: Up to six cannabis plants per dwelling unit are permitted and may only be grown indoors. Cannabis may not be cultivated outdoors for personal use.

Cannabis Testing/Manufacturing: Cannabis manufacturing and testing facilities are prohibited.

Contact Information:
Darren Nash
dnash@prcity.com
(805) 237-3970

Additional Information: http://www.prcity.com/DocumentCenter/View/12067/2018-City-Council-Ordinance—1052-PDF

The City of Pismo Beach

The rules within the city limits of Pismo Beach are as follows:

Cannabis Dispensaries: Public storefront dispensaries are not allowed. Delivery dispensaries may only deliver to medical dispensaries using mobile deliveries.

Cultivation of Commercial Cannabis: Outdoor or indoor cannabis cultivation for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Cultivation of Personal Cannabis: Up to six cannabis plants per dwelling unit are permitted and may only be grown indoors. Cannabis may not be cultivated outdoors for personal use.

Testing/Manufacturing Facilities: Cannabis manufacturing and testing facilities are prohibited.

Contact Information:
The Planning Division
planning@pismobeach.org
(805) 773-4658

Additional Information: http://www.pismobeach.org/Search?searchPhrase=cannabis

The City of San Luis Obispo

Last Update: December 5, 2018

The rules within the city limits of San Luis Obispo are as follows:

On November 27, 2018, zoning regulations, application criteria, and a fee structure were approved by the City council so that cannabis businesses could operate in San Luis Obispo. The City council and staff chose the most qualified operators by establishing an application and approval process for groups or individuals who wanted to operate a cannabis business. People who submitted applications between July 1 and July 31, 2019 were ranked using a points system. In August, contingent operator permits were approved. A land use permit for specific businesses was required after the permanent operator permits were issued and background checks were conducted. A second application period occurred in January 2020.

Cannabis Dispensaries: Only three storefront permits are allowed (permitting occurred in 2019).

Cultivation of Commercial Cannabis: Commercial cannabis is capped at 70,000 square feet. No business can be any larger than 10,000 square feet.

Cultivation of Personal Cannabis: A limit of six cannabis plants may be grown either outdoors or indoors for personal use.

Testing/Manufacturing Facilities: There is no limit on the number of permits that can be issued for testing, distribution, manufacturing, or delivery-only non-storefront retail.

Contact Information:
Charlene Rosales
crosales@slocity.org
(805) 781-7164

Additional Information: http://www.slocity.org/cannabis

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