GROVER BEACH, Calif. - The Grover Beach City Council has unanimously approved a lengthy pre-application and verification process for those looking to open a medical marijuana dispensary within city limits.
The three phased screening process, which begins July 17, includes a one-time $8,100 application fee plus $750 per owner of each dispensary with a maximum of two dispensaries located within designated areas of the city.
The pre-screening process includes a 100-point system based on various criteria including having a legitimate business plan, qualifications and experience, a local, state and FBI criminal background check, security and neighborhood compatibility.
The top two applicants with the most points will be referred by a city selection committee to the City Council for final approval.
"The mayor is having a hard time with the fact that we're asking for all this information, and I certainly don't want people who are interested in opening any business in Grover Beach to feel penalized", said City Council member Mariam Shah, "I want people to know that I personally feel a big responsibility for this and a responsibility for it going well, I think if we have one negative incident it jeopardizes it for everybody."
The City Council heard from a few members of the community on both sides of the divisive issue.
"Just because its legal doesn't make it right, I object to this cannabis thing totally", said one woman who declined to be identified, "If you let this come into the community, you're making a big mistake, I've see it happen, I'm fighting it in another state now."
"We appreciate your support to the residents of Grover Beach and the community in accepting this legal cannabis industry", said local medical marijuana delivery owner Todd Mitchell, "as well as the tax measure that is going to do so much for our community and the lives of those of us who live here."
The City of Grover Beach will begin accepting applications for those looking to establish commercial medical cannabis businesses starting June 14.
In other city business, the City Council granted a one year extension of a building permit for developers of the approved Pacific Coast Hotel and meeting center at the corner of Highway 1 and West Grand Avenue at the western entrance to the city.