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Grover Beach moves to approve recreational cannabis, lower taxes

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More than a year after embracing the commercial medical cannabis industry, the city of Grover Beach is moving to allow recreational businesses into the fold.

EMERALD CITY Grover Beach is a step closer to allowing commercial cannabis businesses to sell and manufacture recreational cannabis products. - FILE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • File Photo By Jayson Mellom
  • EMERALD CITY Grover Beach is a step closer to allowing commercial cannabis businesses to sell and manufacture recreational cannabis products.

The Grover Beach City Council voted 4-0 on May 7 to approve a first reading of amendments to its commercial cannabis regulations to allow businesses to sell, manufacture, and grow cannabis for adult recreational use. In a separate vote, the council also approved lower taxes on cannabis businesses in the city.

Councilmember Debbie Peterson recused herself from the vote on the regulatory amendments.

Last year, the council approved the regulatory and permitting process for medical cannabis businesses. The council has approved four commercial medical cannabis retail businesses. The amendment will allow new businesses to seek a permit for non-medical cannabis uses and enable businesses already permitted for medical cannabis operations to become permitted for adult recreational use, according to Senior Planner Rafael Castillo.

"Those that are currently on the books, ... they would have to give us a letter asking for an amendment to their previous approval," he said.

Castillo said he does expect the previously approved businesses to ask for those amendments. The changes to the city ordinance will be brought back to the council for final approval at a later meeting. City Manager Matthew Bronson said the changes would also require the approval of the California Coastal Commission.

Under the newly approved tax structure, commercial recreational marijuana retailers will pay a 5 percent gross receipts tax, distribution and manufacturing businesses will pay a 3 percent gross receipts tax, and commercial cannabis cultivation operations would be taxed at $5 per square foot.

The council initially discussed a cap on taxes for cannabis businesses as part of the cuts, but scrapped the idea at the May 7 meeting.

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