The Grover Beach City Council last week cleared the way for the city’s first two commercial medical cannabis businesses to set up shop – one near the Amtrak depot and the other in the industrial park.
In separate public hearings, the council considered the applications of The Monarch and the Natural Healing Center. Both businesses needed city approval to operate before seeking final approval from the state.
The city projects the first two businesses could generate as much as $200,000 in additional tax revenue this year, and as much as $1-$2 million a year once a full contingent of four businesses are up and running.
Only the Natural Healing Center faced opposition during its hearing. Kathy Schultz, owner of Coastal Dance and Music Academy, objected to having the cannabis business across the parking lot from youth activities. She is seeking a buy-out settlement from the cannabis supplier of her 12-year lease. She asked the council to make approval of the business contingent on successful completion of the settlement.
“[This buy-out settlement] will allow us to vacate the premises,” she told the council. “We are in 100 percent agreement with the California Emergency Cannabis regulations that a dispensary should not be within 600 feet of a youth center.”
The Natural Healing Center project includes plans to cultivate marijuana in the second story of the building with manufacturing and a dispensary below. The architect for the project detailed many security details for the establishment, but Schultz feared increased activity in the shared parking lot with children present was an imminent danger.
Council member Mariam Shah said it was not the council’s role to enforce a private settlement in the matter. The council approved the business application by Natural Healing Center.
Council member Debbie Peterson recused herself from the discussion and vote on The Monarch because her real estate office is near the applicant’s location. Nevertheless, the remainder of the council approved the business.
Owners of The Monarch plan to renovate a vacant auto repair shop on the corner of 3rd Street and Rockaway Avenue.
– By Justin Stoner