2 Morro Bay cannabis stores close to opening — and they’re hiring

Two new Morro Bay medical marijuana businesses are eyeing early 2020 opening dates — and they’re currently hiring for a combined total of about 40 positions.

Perfect Union, which operates four retail cannabis stores in the Sacramento area, envisions 20 new jobs, paying $16 to $18 per hour with benefits, said Matthew Z’Berg, the company’s community relations coordinator.

The new cannabis store is targeting a January opening date, Z’Berg said.

The business has recently moved from a proposed site on Napa Avenue into the former location of Megan’s Organic Market CBD store at 1000 Quintana Road.

Perfect Union will complete some tenant improvements and install security measures before opening.

“We’re planning on hiring locally,” Z’berg said. “Our general manager is from San Luis Obispo. And we’re a union shop, and our employees can choose to be part of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).”

Z’Berg said Perfect Union is dedicated to giving back to the community, having already made a $10,000 donation to the Central Coast Aquarium toward its planning for a Morro Bay project and a $5,000 donation to the Morro Bay Open Space Alliance.

Perfect Union was one of two cannabis retail businesses selected by the city of Morro Bay out of six applicants to move forward in its licensing process.

Perfect Union panarama.jpg
Perfect Union, which operates cannabis stores in the Sacramento area, is planning to open a medical cannabis store in Morro Bay. Here’s what one of their retail operations looks like. STONEY MEAGHER

Natural Healing Center also planning early 2020 opening

Natural Health Center (NHC)— which currently operates a retail cannabis store in Grover Beach — was the other successful applicant.

NHC will operate at 495 Morro Bay Blvd. near the intersection with Napa Avenue.

Nick Andre, NHC’s chief operating officer, said the business is awaiting building permits for a remodel, with the goal of opening in the first quarter of 2020.

“We hope to get open as quickly as possible, possibly even by January,” Andre said. “Our location is downtown, and we hope to help revitalize downtown.”

Andre said NHC will hire about 15 to 20 employees, who can receive training in the Grover Beach store before beginning their work in Morro Bay.

Andre said he didn’t have compensation information, but added “we always pay our employees higher than average for retail businesses.”

Andre said the Morro Bay store will have two sections, similar to its operation in Grover Beach. One will feature products containing psychoactive ingredients such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and another than will have cannabis products that don’t contain psychoactive substances.

Andre said the store will have one-on-one customer service and self-service touch screens.

A rendering of the planned Natural Healing Center commercial space in Morro Bay. Courtesy

Morro Bay City Council considering adding recreational marijuana

Both stores will have employees trained to answer questions and offer recommendations to people, whose conditions may include PTSD, arthritis or other medical problems.

Morro Bay City Manager Scott Collins told The Tribune the city is in the process of conducting criminal background checks on the two new cannabis retailers and reviewing building improvement plans.

He added that the City Council has expressed interest in discussing whether to expand Morro Bay’s allowable cannabis sales to include adult use (recreational) like in Grover Beach and San Luis Obispo.

Collins said the city hasn’t projected sales tax revenue totals from the addition of the two new medical marijuana stores with any specificity.

A rough estimate the city made suggested the stores could bring in as much as $250,000 in a year.

“It’s hard to know how much they’ll bring in,” Collins said. “But allowing adult use would certainly increase tax revenues.”

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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo 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.