San Luis Obispo is one step closer to opening the doors of its first cannabis storefronts.
The city announced the highest scoring applicants Thursday.
Nine retail storefront applicants competed for three spots.
Megan’s Organic Market scored highest on the city’s test.
“We scored for first place with 136 out of 140 points,” said Megan Souza, owner of Megan’s Organic Market.
The city graded businesses on a number of categories awarding more points to experience and community benefit.
Souza thinks her promise to give back to the community stood out.
“We’re committing to 40 hours per month of community support in the form of company-sponsored employee volunteer hours as well as $2,000 per month of to SLO city non-profits,” said Souza.
They plan to have their new adult and medicinal storefront at 280 Higuera Street, but also plan to keep a separate CBD/hemp in Morro Bay.
“We are really stoked that we got to be a part of such an amazing process,” said Souza. “And because of the application criteria they created we are committed to doing some amazing things.
The Natural Healing Center came in second.
Owner Helios Dayspring believes the success of his existing Grover Beach storefront made his application glow.
“We’ve seen an overwhelming amount of older generations coming in for aches and pains so we intend on creating a very similar atmosphere over in SLO providing not only to the young but the old as well,” said Helios Dayspring, owner of the Natural Healing Center.
They also plan to offer jobs to people living in the area.
“We are going to be hiring all locally and we plan on providing really well paying jobs much higher about industry standards for retail,” said Dayspring. “We think that is going to be a great economic benefit.”
However, they don’t have the golden ticket yet.
The city issued temporary cannabis operator permits pending background checks handled by the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
Things like felonies or numerous citations at existing sites could disqualify a business from opening its doors.
The city says the background checks involve live scans of other cities where the businesses might be operating.
The city wants to make sure all federal and state licenses are in order for business compliance
The background checks are expected to take about four to six weeks.
According to the city economic development manager, once the background check is cleared owners can then apply for land use and building permits.
Once those permits are obtained, construction can begin.
“I think the city of SLO has set a standard for other cities to follow,” said Souza.
The Natural Healing Center plans to expand their second location to 2600 Broad Street taking over the Mission Thrift and SLO Quik Stop Liquor buildings.
“That was kind of a big thing with a local getting license, we would be supporting our local farmers and our local brands versus bringing in brands from out of the area,” said Dayspring.
Elemental wellness, the third highest scoring business, is based in San Jose.
KSBY reached out to elemental wellness and they declined to comment.
However, the city is giving them 60 days to find a new location that is not within 1,000 feet of the other two locations.
If elemental wellness does not find another location or if any of the applicants fail the background check, the city will issue a temporary permit to the next highest scoring business.