Marijuana businesses are one step closer to becoming a legal reality in Grover Beach.
The Grover Beach Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend approval to the City Council for an overlay to city code that would allow commercial cannabis uses in a 70-acre industrial area located between Farroll Road, Highland Way, South Fourth Street and South 13th Street.
The city currently prohibits all commercial marijuana businesses. The new overlay, as well as a separate regulatory ordinance being drafted by the city, allows cultivation, nurseries, manufacturing, testing laboratories, transportation, delivery, distribution (including storage) and dispensaries for retail sales.
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Though the new zone is on its way to becoming a reality, commercial operations would be restricted to only medical marijuana businesses until 2018, when the state expects to begin licensing recreational marijuana businesses. Until that time, recreational marijuana businesses will continue to be illegal.
In addition to a location for a marijuana zone, the proposed overlay sets forth rules for those businesses established there.
On Wednesday, the Planning Commission changed the permitted hours of operation for marijuana businesses to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. The Commission also voted to require that all marijuana businesses, not just dispensaries, be at least 100 feet from any residential zone.
The overlay will now go before the City Council on Feb. 6 for final consideration.