Inyo Supervisor looking into the weed biz, says there’s no conflict
Hey baby, it’s a wild world.
Inyo County Supervisor Mark Tillemans told The Sheet that he will step to the podium at the Inyo County Supervisors meeting scheduled for October 17 and address the board and the county about his possible entry into the commercial cannabis business.
Tillemans said that neither County Counsel nor his own attorney believe that his having a vote on cannabis regulation while he also considers going into the weed business himself presents a conflict of interest.
“There is a perceived conflict,” he said, And because of that. he said he will recuse himself from voting on cannabis-related items going forward.
According to the California Secretary of State, Tillemans formed a Limited Liability Company on September 19 called INYOSOL, LLC.
Under type of business, he described it as cultivation, manufacture, distribution.
Tillemans said he is working off the same information concerning cannabis regulation that his fellow supervisors and the public are privy to.
He said he has been transparent with his possible business venture. He is not currently involved in the business per se, but he has been promoting the area as a prime growing spot with lots of sun and little humidity.
The latitude of the Owens Valley is just a few degrees from the Hindu Kush in India, where marijuana is supposed to have originated, Tillemans said. Samples of locally grown marijuana have tested to be some of the most potent on the planet, he added.
Tillemans has been learning about the industry, going to workshops about the cannabis business.
He has bought land in the Olancha area. Tillemans said it only makes sense to buy up private land in an area where there is so little land to buy.
The area could become the Napa Valley of marijuana, says Tillemans. In a meeting of the Mono County Supervisors in May, Michael Draper of Mono County Planning said Mono County has that same potential.
Inyo County as well as all other counties in the state are working on their own regulations and possible fee schedules for recreational marijuana. Counties and municipalities have to hash out rules that best fit their citizens and communities while following certain blanket laws set by the state (for instance, the production of edibles, like pot brownies, is considered a manufacturing use and must be carried out in areas zoned accordingly). The rules from the state are constantly in flux and a new round of regulations is expected to come out in November.
The sale, manufacturing and production of marijuana for recreational use officially starts on January 1, 2018.