Morro Bay has selected these two cannabis businesses for retail operations

The city of Morro Bay has selected two cannabis retail businesses to move forward in its licensing process.

Natural Healing Center (NHC), owned by Grover Beach cannabis retailer Helios Dayspring, and Perfect Union, which operates multiple retail shops in the Sacramento area, are the two businesses that are in the process of being licensed.

Morro Bay first must complete background checks on the prospective employees at the businesses prior to issuing permits, City Manager Scott Collins said in a statement.

And the selected businesses still may need to pursue building permits prior to opening, depending on their needs, Collins said. The shops could open by the end of the year or in early 2020, Collins said.

The businesses were chosen because they “demonstrated success operating cannabis retail businesses elsewhere in California, but also because of their top-notch safety plans, community fit and good neighbor practices,” Collins said in the statement.

Helios Dayspring operates Natural Healing Center, a cannabis dispensary in Grover Beach. His business was also selected to move forward with retail licensing in Morro Bay. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

“We look forward to working closely with them to ensure their businesses integrate successfully with the Morro Bay community and are operated in a manner that is compliant with state and local regulations,” he added.

Natural Healing Center’s chief operating officer Nick Andre said it has proposed moving into a commercial space at 495 Morro Bay Boulevard, where ASAP Reprographics is currently located.

Andre said NHC holds a lease another site on Quintana Road, where it’s paying for ASAP Reprographics to move into. The new NHC dispensary space on Morro Bay Boulevard will need to be renovated before move-in, Andre said.

“We have support from the ASAP owner,” Andre said. “It’s not like we’re pushing them out.”

Natural Healing Center has been approved for adult-use sales at its Grover Beach shop since last July and was awarded a retail license to operate in San Luis Obispo, joining two other retail stores there. Natural Healing Center also operates cultivation properties in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

“This selection solidifies Natural Healing Center as a premier, locally owned cannabis operator,” Andre said.

It’s unclear where Perfect Union plans to open in Morro Bay, and business owners couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

“I believe Perfect Union is in the process of identifying their future site,” Collins told The Tribune.

Morro Bay approved its cannabis ordinance in 2017, allowing for up to two cannabis retail businesses in the city.

Collins was tasked with selecting the businesses following a review by a subcommittee of the police chief, fire chief and finance director, the city stated.

The subcommittee reviewed six applications and conducted formal interviews before selecting the businesses.

In November 2018, Morro Bay voters approved a 5 percent cannabis tax on retail sales, which will be applied to the selected businesses once they open.

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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.