Following the lead of Grover Beach, the city of Morro Bay adopted an ordinance that allows brick and mortar medical marijuana dispensaries to open.
On Tuesday, the Morro Bay City Council voted unanimously to make their city the second in San Luis Obispo County to permit pot shops since the passage of Proposition 64. Morro Bay’s new ordinance will allow for two medical marijuana dispensaries within the city limits.
The Grover Beach City Council, too, approved an ordinance allowing for two pot shops to open. The Grover Beach council then amended the rules so that a total of four brick and mortar dispensaries will be allowed to operate in the South County city.
In Morro Bay, a possibility exists that the city will eventually open up to recreational marijuana shops as well. Morro Bay’s ordinance prohibits recreational marijuana dispensaries, but city officials are open to the possibility of allowing them, saying a proposed marijuana tax could lead to a policy change.
City officials plan on placing a pot tax measure on the Nov. 2018 ballot.
The ordinance approved Tuesday will take effect in 30 days, and next summer, Morro Bay will begin accepting applications for the two dispensaries slots. Those businesses are expected to open in 2019.
Tuesday’s vote came about a decade after a law enforcement raid that shut down the last brick and mortar dispensary to operate in both Morro Bay and SLO County. The raid was a multi-agency operation initiated by former SLO County Sheriff Pat Hedges.
In addition to regulating dispensaries, the new Morro Bay ordinance sets rules for other uses of marijuana, including cultivation. Under the new ordinance, the city will only permit people to grow pot for personal use. Residents will be limited to a total of six plants, two of which could be grown outdoors.