Supervisors OK Marijuana Review Policy, Changes for Existing Facilities

Marijuana plants
Marijuana plants. File photo via Wikimedia Commons

County supervisors Wednesday approved by a 4-1 vote an environmental review process for commercial cannabis operations in unincorporated areas, allowing for future expansion.

As required by the state Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the board voted to require a program environmental impact report (PEIR). The two-year PEIR process would cover all potential uses including retail, distribution, testing, manufacturing, indoor and outdoor cultivation, and microbusinesses.

According to the county Land Use & Environment department, the review process “would cover the broadest scope of cannabis operations … (and) begins the work to open the cannabis industry’s commercial opportunities to more businesses.”

As the county moves closer to voting on a revamped marijuana policy, Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher described Wednesday’s action as a challenge.

“This is not easy to align all these various components and parts” in crafting new ordinances, Fletcher said, adding he was “really pleased to see our county moving forward on this issue.” He said it was also important to step up enforcement on unlicensed dispensaries.

Times of San Diego