Residents looking to have a say in Santa Barbara County’s cannabis retail selection process will have a chance during multiple meetings scheduled for July.
FILE PHOTO BY ZAC EZZONE
BEGINNING THE PROCESS Santa Barbara County announced the virtual meeting dates for going over its cannabis retail process. Helios Dayspring, who owns the Natural Healing Center in Grover Beach, purchased the building where Old Town Market is located with the hopes of obtaining the permit in Orcutt.
Under the county’s existing regulations, six cannabis retail stores can open in unincorporated parts of the county with one in each of Isla Vista, Santa Ynez, Summerland, Orcutt, Eastern Goleta Valley, and Los Alamos.
Earlier this year, the county Board of Supervisors updated its cannabis retail selection process
and created a merit-based scoring system that’ll be used to choose which operators receive the permits to each of these locations. This limited number of locations makes each one extremely valuable for whoever receives the permit, 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino said in a previous interview.
Part of this merit-based scoring system includes a community meeting in each community plan area, where residents can weigh in on what they’d like to see from a cannabis store in their neighborhood. Originally slated for April, the meetings were postponed and moved to a virtual format due to COVID-19.
On June 22, the county announced new dates, with the one in Orcutt set for July 9 at 5:30 p.m. Information about how to join the meetings is available on the county’s dedicated cannabis webpage
The county also released a video
explaining the retail selection process, as well as six other videos that show where cannabis stores could open in each community plan area. According to the video on Orcutt, this includes the area near Clark Avenue and Highway 101, parts of Old Town Orcutt, near the intersection of Union Valley Pacific Road and Broadway, and near the intersection of Black Road and Tanglewood Drive.
Helios Dayspring purchased the building where Old Town Market is located
with the intention of applying for the cannabis retail permit in Orcutt. Dayspring runs a retail store called the Natural Healing Center in Grover Beach, and has secured retail permits to open stores in San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay, as well as two in the Central Valley. He also operates cannabis cultivation sites in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
Nick Andre, the Natural Healing Center’s chief operating officer, said the company identified the Orcutt property where the market is located as the best fit for its plans, as it’s one of the few locations in Old Town that meets the county’s zoning requirements for cannabis retail permits. Also, the building has one of the largest parking lots in Old Town Orcutt, which is needed to accommodate the 800 to 1,000 people who will visit the store daily, Andre said.
“We think it’s amazing for a downtown to have an influx of 800 people a day that weren’t there before,” Andre said. “That’s what a downtown is built for is to … be a center of commerce.” ∆