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Morro Bay city officials find no impropriety in issuance of NHC permit

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 20:26:36-05

Officials with the City of Morro Bay say an internal review found that no regulations were violated in the process of granting a commercial cannabis operating permit to the Natural Healing Center (NHC).

The review came in response to the federal charges filed against Natural Healing Center founder Helios Dayspring for bribery and filing a false income tax return.

NHC's Morro Bay storefront opened in April 2021.

City officials describe the process for awarding a commercial cannabis operation permit as "a stringent three-step procedure" that includes a review by a different person or committee at each step and does not involve the city council.

"The City's internal review concluded that no impropriety occurred during the three-step process," officials said in a press release issued Tuesday. The release also notes that Dayspring is no longer considered an NHC owner or employee.

The charges against Dayspring were announced in July 2021. He pleaded guilty in October, admitting to bribing late San Luis Obispo County District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill, attempting to bribe former Grover Beach Mayor John Shoals, and failing to report millions of dollars in income to the IRS.

Dayspring is scheduled to be sentenced on February 11. He faces a maximum of 13 years in prison, three years probation, and a $500,000 fine.

Meanwhile, NHC has filed a lawsuit against the City of San Luis Obispo which terminated the company's permit to operate a cannabis storefront in that community.

City officials said Dayspring submitted false or misleading information about his criminal misconduct in the shop's permit application. NHC's lawsuit claims the city did not follow the proper ordinance when terminating the permit.

NHC also operates retail shops in Grover Beach and Lemoore.