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SLO has awarded its first cannabis business permits to these businesses

An inside look at the Natural Healing Center cannabis retail store in Grover Beach, California

Grover Beach, California cannabis retailer Natural Healing Center, owned by longtime medical marijuana businessman Helios Dayspring, has emerged as a locally run business, spending millions to start up.
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Grover Beach, California cannabis retailer Natural Healing Center, owned by longtime medical marijuana businessman Helios Dayspring, has emerged as a locally run business, spending millions to start up.

The city of San Luis Obispo has announced the businesses it’s awarding cannabis business permits to — pending background checks.

SLO posted an announcement on its website Thursday stating it has issued contingent operator permits for five of the applicants: three retail storefronts, one delivery service and one microbusiness.

The city went through an intensive application review, which included nine prospective retail applicants.

The City Council previously established ranking criteria giving preference to local marijuana businesses that have a record of taxes and made contributions to local communities, such as through volunteer and charity work, as well as showed a commitment to hiring locally.

Official business licenses will be awarded in place of contingent operator permits provided all applicants pass the required, comprehensive background checks, the city stated on its website.

The three permitted retail stores granted licenses are:

Megan’s Organic Market: Established its medical marijuana delivery services in 2013. Before that, MOM started organically cultivating cannabis in 2010. Co-owner Megan Souza is a Morro Bay High School graduate, and her partner Eric Powers has served on multiple boards of directors of local nonprofits and operated a hemp store in Morro Bay. Location: 280 Higuera St.

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Megan’s Organic Market, a cannabis delivery business, is owned Megan Souza and Eric Powers seen here at their marijuana farm in Los Osos. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Natural Healing Center: Owner Helios Dayspring, president of Natural Healing Center, has 18 cultivation properties in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, as well as 66 valid cannabis licenses and 145 pending. The business owns a retail store in Grover Beach and is moving into the cannabis tourism industry. Location: 2640 Broad St.

Elemental Wellness: Principal owner is entrepreneur Randolph Dale (73 percent of company shares). Dale formed his first medical marijuana collective, called Sonoma County Compassionate Collective, in 2009. He also started operating a medical marijuana delivery business, Canna Express, in 2014 in SLO County, and has strived to help senior citizens and the terminally ill in his business. Location: Permit contingent to identification of a site within 60 days.

The other two businesses that received permits are: Coastal Delivery SLO, LLC, for delivery services, based at 747 Woodbridge St. (Julian Michalowski is the co-chief executive officer); Element 7 San Luis Obispo for microbusiness operations (Brian Pallas is the chief operating officer and Robert DeVito heads the Element 7 brand and business).

Element 7 San Luis Obispo is in the process of establishing a business location, which still must be approved by the city, said Charlene Rosales, the city’s economic development manager.

Rosales said that the city expects to conduct its next round of review for applications from cannabis delivery, manufacturing, cultivation and microbusiness companies in July.

The number of those potential businesses aren’t capped, while the maximum number or marijuana retail stores is three.

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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.

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