Grover Beach to permit recreational pot shops

Not to be outdone by the city of San Luis Obispo, the Grover Beach City Council is set to add recreational pot shops to its existing marijuana regime.

Last fall, the Grover Beach City Council voted to award four medical marijuana dispensary licenses, and the pot shops are expected to open soon in the South County city. On Monday, the Grover Beach council will consider making changes to its marijuana rules so that recreational pot shops, not just medical dispensaries, can operate in the city.

The proposed ordinance amending the city’s pot rules has already received the endorsement of the Grover Beach Planning Commission. Additionally, the council has previously indicated it would allow recreational pot shops.

If adopted, the ordinance would permit marijuana delivery services, as well as brick and mortar shops, to sell recreational pot. While loosening restrictions on pot sales, the proposed ordinance contains tougher regulations on personal marijuana grows.

New restrictions that appear in the ordinance limit personal grows to a single room within a home that is locked and secure, and the rules prohibit cultivation in garages and accessory structures. The proposed rules also mandate that lights used for growing pot plants cannot exceed 3,800 watts, and they must be shielded so that they do not shine outside the home. Additionally, the amendments mandate that marijuana odors not be detectable in public or in neighboring homes.

In 2017, Grover Beach became the first city in SLO County to adopt rules allowing marijuana dispensaries under Prop. 64. Morro Bay has since followed suit, and the city of San Luis Obispo is likewise moving ahead with plans to allow marijuana dispensaries to open.

Last week, the SLO City Council voted for an ordinance that would allow both medical and recreational pot shops in the city. San Luis Obispo is still in the process of finalizing its pot regulations.

Grover Beach’s marijuana regulatory scheme, which is the closest to full implementation, has drawn criticism over alleged threats, backrooms deals and the awarding of the awarding of dispensary licenses to questionable businessmen. Despite receiving applications from a dozen pot businesses, the Grover Beach council awarded the four dispensary licenses to a group of people that included felons, a man on the sex offender registry list and individuals affiliated with a League of California Cities lobbying network.