Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh, who has been critical of cannabis, answered questions from city councilmembers, including Jenelle Osborne (left) and Victor Vega (right), who led the effort to draft the city regulations.

The Lompoc City Council decided on Tuesday to allow every type of cannabis business, from delivery services to lounges. Huddled outside City Hall after the meeting, cannabis business owners rejoiced and noted how far they had come in just 10 months. The so-called City of Flowers, they joked, has a whole new connotation.

What industry operators are celebrating is exactly why a few vocal neighbors are worrying. “I don’t want 200,000 people coming here to buy it,” one Lompoc resident said.

What’s more, the city will not place regulations on the number of dispensaries allowed within city limits, allowing the free market to take over. “It’d be like any other business,” said Councilmember Victor Vega, who worked on the city’s ad hoc committee to help draft the ordinance. “Somebody is going to go out of business.”

Crystal Reyes, a manager at Cal Green Medical, noted many landlords aren’t going to be willing to rent to cannabis operators. In addition, state law requires that all cannabis businesses be at least 600 feet away from schools or youth centers. “After seeing the map, it looks like it’s very restrictive,” Vega said. The map, recently updated to define a central city park to be a youth center, disqualified at least one potential location that a cannabis operator had his eye on. The value of warehouses in Lompoc has reportedly skyrocketed on Craigslist.

Mayor Bob Lingl, a conservative, was the sole opponent on the five-member council. He urged his fellow councilmembers to pump the brakes after his colleagues raised questions, including about business transfers, nuisance complaints, and wastewater oversight. “We spent the last 45 minutes looking at things we found really not clear in this ordinance,” he said. “Do we really want to rush this thing through and make some mistakes?” His colleagues noted that the ordinance could still be fine-tuned.


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