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Grover Beach looking to make the city a “cannabis tourism destination”

Natural Healing Center
Posted at 6:50 PM, May 14, 2021

The City of Grover Beach is taking steps to strengthen the commercial cannabis industry. But what exactly is the city doing to make it a cannabis tourism destination?

On Monday, the City of Grover Beach announced that they’re considering modifying cannabis tax rates to compete with other cities and also establishing on-site consumption lounges.

“Our goal with the cannabis tax rates has always been competitive with other communities, while also providing sufficient revenues to help support community needs,” said Grover Beach City Manager Matthew Bronson.

For the next fiscal year, the city is estimating $2.4 million in cannabis tax revenues. It’s now the third-largest revenue source for the city. As a result, the city wants to add on-site consumption lounges, which would be the first of its kind in San Luis Obispo County.

“A consumption lounge really allows people to go in, get their cannabis and actually use it in such a way that the person who is working with them, our budtender, can also see it manifest almost immediately,” said Natural Healing Center Government Affairs Director Joe Armendariz.

In Santa Barbara County, Seaweed Dispensary in Lompoc was the first business to allow on-site cannabis consumption.

Seaweed Dispensary owner, Tod Mitchell, says the city has a lot of potential for the cannabis industry.

“I’m very much hoping that Grover Beach follows in Lompoc’s footsteps in that I believe the majority of tax dollars to support the community are coming from the retail operators,” Mitchell said.

“Canna tourism is an untapped market that could be a possibility for us,” Bronson said. “So providing on-site consumption lounges will provide a safe, responsible place for individuals who are traveling into the area or who are living in the area to be able to consume cannabis products in a very careful manner.”

While no official decision has been made, Grover Beach plans to propose the cannabis industry policy direction to the City Council in the fall.

If the City Council decides to move forward, there will be an ordinance amendment to allow for on-site consumption lounges by the end of the year.