Morro Bay to accept medical marijuana dispensary applications — 10 years after DEA raid

Morro Bay to accept medical marijuana dispensary applications — 10 years after DEA raid

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Morro Bay officials will begin taking applications from prospective operators of up to two medical marijuana dispensaries in July, after the City Council on Tuesday formally adopted local rules to regulate cannabis businesses, personal cultivating and public smoking. The unanimous vote comes about 10 years after a law enforcement raid initiated by San Luis Obispo County’s former sheriff shut down the city’s — and county’s — only medical marijuana dispensary for alleged violations of state and federal marijuana laws. The city now joins Grover Beach as the only cities in the county to pass rules allowing for up to two medical marijuana dispensaries. Though their discussion remains ongoing, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors majority has indicated that they will ban all dispensaries in unincorporated communities. Like all California cities, Morro Bay had until January to pass its own laws before the state starts issuing business licenses to marijuana providers, as decided by voters with 2016’s Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act . After Tuesday’s passage of the ordinance, which goes into effect in 30 days, the city will begin accepting applications from possible medical marijuana dispensary operators this summer, with two preferred candidates being selected in 2019. Recreational dispensaries are not allowed in the city under the ordinance, though officials say a proposed cannabis tax could lead to changes for commercial recreational marijuana in the future. “We’re taking a wait-and-see approach,” Councilwoman Marlys McPherson said. Applicants seeking to open a medical marijuana dispensary will be vetted by Community Development Director Scot Graham, who will rank those that meet minimum requirements on a Merit List; will be reviewed by a cannabis permitting committee made up of city officials; and will face a final decision by City Manager Scott Collins. The business […]

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