San Luis Obispo residents don't have to travel far to find cannabis products.
The city's first of three recreational cannabis storefronts, Megan’s Organic Market, is now open at 280 Higuera St.
“We are also excited to be able to be the first in the city of SLO to really shape the cannabis space,” said Megan Souza, co-owner of Megan’s Organic Market.
Since it’s soft opening Monday, business is off to a great start.
"We've had a 25% increase in sales from day-to-day since we started and we don't even have signage out front yet," Souza said.
Inside the newly renovated building, shelves are fully stocked and employees are ready to help.
The business is several years in the making and started when Souza started filling out the city’s recreational cannabis retail storefront permit application in 2018.
She says it’s been a long journey since then.
“I had gotten my hopes up so many times and then it got delayed and delayed and delayed. Now that it's happening, I'm just soaking it in that it's real,” Souza said.
The pandemic brought on a whole separate list of delays.
“With COVID, it slows things down for obvious reasons in that you can't do a lot of face to face," said Joe Armendariz, Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Natural Healing Center.
Natural Healing Center is currently building its newest storefront at 2600 Broad St.
With locations in Grover Beach and Lemoore, Natural Health Center expects the San Luis Obispo location to be the best one yet.
“We think it's going to be a high-end, Apple store retail experience that I believe the city of SLO and the surrounding areas are going to be very proud of,” Armendariz said.
He said the retail storefront is expected to be open this coming November.
People of all legal age groups are curious to see what's inside these new businesses.
“I live just down the street, so I drive by every day and seeing [Megan’s Organic Market] open now, I was like, I have to come in,” said Christian Cardenas, who shopped at the store Friday.
Souza said her clientele is expanding to all demographics since she first started her cannabis delivery service back in 2013.
“We expected college students to be our main customers but that was not the case; they were terminally ill and seniors and that is still the case here,” Souza said.
Megan's Organic Market will celebrate its grand opening and curbside pick-up service on August 15.
City leaders granted the third retail permit to SLO Cal Roots LLC. in March of 2020, but it's unclear where that business is in the process of opening.
The city expects to get about $400,000 from cannabis tax revenue this year which is lower than originally projected because of the pandemic.