Legalization is here. Well, in some places anyway.
On New Year’s Day, when anyone over 21 with an ID can buy legal pot in California for the first time in 100 years, there won’t be any for sale in San Luis Obispo County.
No governing body in the area has issued any permit for shops or delivery services to sell non-medical cannabis. The only local permit issued so far is out of Arroyo Grande to a medical cannabis delivery service called Elite Care California.
That might not be the case for long. Grover Beach is planning for a cannabis district that will allow up to four retail shops that will start as medical marijuana only. Same for Morro Bay, where up to two medical shops could be permitted. The city of San Luis Obispo is considering a storefront, but nothing yet.
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Don’t fret, my canna-curious friends: Legal weed is but a two-hour drive away.
The closest shop to SLO County is Monterey Bay Alternative Medicine in Del Rey Oaks, where knowledgeable staff have sold an assortment of cannabis products to people with medical cards since April 2015. Employees said they’re excited to open their doors to recreational users and expect Monday’s crowds to be similar in size to what they’ve seen on 4/20, a holiday for marijuana users.
They’re still sorting out what products will be on the shelves come Monday, because they’re only allowed to sell products from other businesses with state licenses, which are still being issued.
Generally, the shop sells cannabis flowers, concentrates, tinctures, topicals and edibles, including microdose edibles, which employee Nate Hobbs says is the best option for beginners or those who haven’t toked in a few decades.
It’s a 140-mile drive from the San Luis Obispo County Government Center, where supervisors decided to not allow any retail shops in their jurisdiction.
Other licensed shops can be found in Eureka, Mount Shasta, Oakland, Redding, Richmond, San Diego, Santa Cruz, San Jose and Ukiah.
Other licensed retail shops are noted on this map created by The Cannifornian. Be warned, this is a list of places that are licensed by the state and doesn’t necessarily mean they are open and ready for business.
Rules of the road
If you decide to trek to a shop, don’t get high before you head home. It could land you a DUI, which can cost up to $10,000 in fines and expenses.
To stay safe, keep your purchase in the child-proof exit bag provided by the shop and leave it in your trunk until you get home, or else you could be looking at the equivalent of a violation for an open container.
Not down for the drive? You’ve got two options: Local cannabis-advocate Marie Roth said she’s thinking of organizing a weekly bus trip to a retail shop. Or, consider delivery.
It is legal for a licensed business to deliver cannabis products within the county.
Big Moon Sky, based in the Sacramento Valley, plans to deliver cannabis products across the state next week and confirmed it’s willing to send a driver to the Central Coast.