Return to NMWCA

On November 8, 2016 California state legislature adopted Proposition 64, allowing for the adult use and cultivation of cannabis and legalizing the commercial sale, distribution and production of cannabis for adult use at state-licensed facilities beginning on January 1, 2018.

Effective on December 31, 2017, the County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance No. 3358, a permanent cannabis ordinance regulating commercial and personal cannabis cultivation in unincorporated areas of the county. The ordinance sets parameters for the number of permits to be issued for cannabis sites, the location and operation of cannabis sites, and the allowable water usage for cultivation.

Cannabis cultivation and nursery sites located in the Nipomo Mesa Water Conservation Area (NMWCA), the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin, or the Los Osos Groundwater Basin must offset their projected water use at a 1:1 ratio, while a 2:1 offset is required at sites located within an Area of Severe Decline. To see if the property is located in these groundwater basin areas, please click here

Offsets can be achieved in the NMWCA by:

  • Retrofitting plumbing fixtures (toilets, showerheads, clothes washers, and faucet aerators) within the same groundwater basin;

  • Removing existing crops on-site; and/or

  • Paying a one-time water offset fee.

For more information regarding pre-application reviews and the permitting process for cannabis cultivation, please click here

© 2018 by County of San Luis Obispo Countywide Water Conservation Program.