San Mateo is Being Sued Over Its New Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance
Last month, San Mateo County supervisors approved an ordinance allowing commercial cultivation of marijuana in existing greenhouses within the county. The plan, which is similar to one approved in Monterey County, not only establishes rules for commercial cannabis, but also aims to help the county’s ailing agriculture industry. Currently, an estimated 20 percent of San Mateo’s greenhouses are empty.
A group known as the SMC Marijuana Moratorium Coalition is now launching a legal challenge against the decision. It has filed a lawsuit against San Mateo, claiming the county circumvented the California Environmental Quality Act, leading to “significant environmental concerns,” when it approved the ordinance.
The lawsuit cites a number of possible consequences of this ordinance that could negatively impact the environment. These include increased foot traffic to the area, increased water and energy usage, and light pollution. The group claims SMC was bound to provide an Environmental Impact Report for this specific legislation but failed to do so.
Critics of SMC note that the group has been opposed to any kind of marijuana legalization or cultivation from Day 1.