During the last 40+ years of prohibition, locals on the Monterey Peninsula have long depended on the underground economy of marijuana cultivation … from Big Sur to Watsonville. Ironically, just as legalization seems to be within grasp, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors are looking at banning any new outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana on the Central Coast.
As venture capitalists commute over Highway 17 from San Jose to their second home in “Carmel-by-the-Sea,” and well-heeled tech gurus purchase their newest multimillion-dollar atrocity polluting the view shed of the Central Coast’s shoreline, locals have two options when it comes to employment; the service industry – golf, restaurants, hotels, etc. – or the trades. With little opportunity in between.
Now with the prospect of full-blown legalization looming large on the horizon for those skilled cultivators in Monterey County, its Board of Supervisors is quietly trying to ban the outdoor cultivation of medicinal cannabis in one of California’s largest counties.
Not without a Battle
According to The Monterey Herald
“Big Sur Cannabotanicals co-owner Aram Stoney told the supervisors the draft regulations are missing industry input and the primary concern is the outdoor cultivation prohibition. Stoney noted that outdoor grows are more “environmentally sustainable” and banning them would “essentially turn the current local industry upside down and force small business owners, who are the primary providers for the current industry, out of business.”
Speaking before a crowd of industry representatives and their enthusiasts, Stoney told the Board of Supes:
“We take great pride in the medical cannabis that we cultivate and provide for our members”. Explaining that, “We have been operating in accordance with state law and have a perfect record. The ordinance as it is currently written will force us out of business and destroy the community relations that we have worked so hard to create over the years.”
While at the same time kicking open the doors of opportunity for those with deep pockets and low morals to fill the void, and allowing the rise of Big Marijuana on the Monterey Peninsula.
Currently in Monterey County, the cities of Del Rey Oaks, Salinas, King City and Greenfield have already adopted rules permitting specific types of medicinal cannabis businesses, while Monterey, Seaside, Pacific Grove, Carmel and Marina opted to ban medical marijuana. Fortunately some are now reconsidering their options and are looking at adopting long-term regulations similar to those proposed by the county.
For those that would like to reach out to their district representatives and tell them what you think … here’s their contact information: