Crime

Grover Beach cannabis shop shut down pending Santa Barbara County criminal investigation

Watch police chief speak about investigation into Grover Beach cannabis shop

Grover Beach Police Chief John Peters speaks about a law enforcement investigation at 805 Beach Breaks, a cannabis shop in Grover Beach, California.
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Grover Beach Police Chief John Peters speaks about a law enforcement investigation at 805 Beach Breaks, a cannabis shop in Grover Beach, California.

Update to this story >> >> “Raided Grover Beach shop had cannabis from illegal grow in Los Alamos, investigators say

Original story:

Police swarmed a Grover Beach cannabis shop Thursday morning as part of an investigation into potential criminal offenses that took place in Santa Barbara County, according to Grover Beach Police Chief John Peters.

The business permit allowing legal cannabis sales at 805 Beach Breaks at 1053 Highland Way was temporarily suspended Thursday, pending an investigation into its activities. The permit has since been reinstated, according to Grover Beach City Manager Matt Bronson.

Three law enforcement agencies — Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Grover Beach and Santa Maria police departments — have been at the shop throughout the morning.

“The (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office) came as part of their investigation to this facility,” Peters said. “... Grover Beach will activate its own investigation in reference into any violations that may have occurred in Grover Beach, if any. This is all related to incidents occurring in Santa Barbara County.”

Peters said the city has had no previous reports of illegal activity at the dispensary or at any of the other cannabis businesses in Grover Beach. Including 805 Beach Breaks, there are two licensed cannabis retailers in the city and four licensed manufacturers, he said.

Peters entered the store building about 10:35 a.m. Thursday and later told a Tribune reporter that Santa Barbara Sheriff deputies are looking into “criminal offenses.”

“It’s an active operation so can’t provide details just yet,” Kelly Hoover, a Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said in a statement. “But we’re hoping to to do shortly.”

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Law enforcement agencies swarmed 805 Beach Breaks in Grover Beach on Thursday morning. Kaytlyn Leslie kleslie@thetribunenews.com

A store manager declined comment to a Tribune reporter, who inquired about the situation outside the store, before scrambling inside the business.

The business’s permit was re-instated by late Thursday afternoon, Bronson told The Tribune in an emailed statement, pending the results of a separate Grover Beach Police Department investigation to determine if any illegal activity has occurred within the city.

 “805 Beach Breaks will be allowed to continue operating as a licensed commercial cannabis business until the City of Grover Beach is aware of any violations of its ordinances,” Bronson wrote.

On Thursday morning, security guards were posted in front of the building, telling people the businesses was closed as customers kept walking up to the building to ask what was going on.

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A shot of police presence at 805 Beach Breaks in Grover Beach. Courtesy photo

A non-police source at the scene captured an image of the vehicles, which included a Sheriff’s Gang Task Force car.

The source said authorities had been at the shop since 7:30 a.m. Thursday and served a search warrant.

805 Beach Breaks is one of two licensed and operating marijuana dispensaries in Grover Beach. The store was the first in SLO County to open as a legal cannabis adult use business.

805 Beach Breaks filed a business license application with the city before being approved saying it would provide a “safe and welcoming dispensary for patients.”

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A man leaves 805 Beach Breaks on Thursday morning after being told the business is closed. Law enforcement descended on the cannabis shop in Grover Beach on Thursday morning. Kaytlyn Leslie kleslie@thetribunenews.com

Its owners were listed as Wendy Cronin, Brian Touey and Erich Haas.

Cronin has a background in nursing, before beginning a delivery service in 2015. She is involved with the SLO Cannabis Coalition and educating community members, local community groups and professional organizations, according to her application.

According to the application, the business said it would use software that is continually updated to comply with existing regulations in states with more thoroughly regulated cannabis markets.

The software will be updated as regulations change in California, with detailed records and accounting of all financial data and medical cannabis inventory, the business stated.

More information will be provided as this story develops.

Tribune reporter Gabby Ferreira contributed to this story.

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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.
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