The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has started the process of banning collectives in unincorporated parts of San Diego, a decision that surprised many who have been involved in the effort to help create regulations.
Last week, the Board three-to-two in favor of banning pot collectives in unincorporated areas.
Those working to create regulations, so more store fronts would be able to open, were shocked by the news.
Lincoln Fish, CEO of Outlier Collective, says he and several others had done exactly what was asked of them by the board.
The El Cajon collective has more than 50 employees overseeing the production of medical cannabis, from seed to sale.
The company worked with community groups and regulations put in place in order to allow more collectives to open their doors.
However, those that oppose pot collectives like Outlier Collective, say they worry the businesses' practices, like keeping large sums of cash at the collectives, could bring crime to their communities.
But Fish says that is not the case.
“One of the things we always ask people to do, is talk to the Sheriff's Department about that. They said the crime in the immediate area of our dispensary in El Cajon has gone down since we moved in," said Fish.
Others worry that as more and more areas block off access to the collectives, the collectives will move to rural areas.
“As more outlining cities, such as Santee, pass complete bans, there is greater risk of Lakeside becoming a hub," said Kathy Castle, CEO of the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce.
At last week’s meeting, the Board of Supervisors heard hours of testimony from community members, including an emotional plea for less restrictions from Brian Higuerra, whose daughter depends on medical cannabis.
“Within ten minutes of using the cannabis oil, her seizures were stopped. The local children’s hospital now allows her to be admitted to the hospital with it," said Higuerra.
In light of the ban, Fish said Outlier Collective plans to develop a grow on tribal land. This would help them avoid future road blacks set by bans.