The town of Grover Beach may be the first town in San Luis Obispo County to allow cannabis lounges, but what exactly would a lounge look like?
“With tables and maybe a bar where people can sit and socialize and consume cannabis like you’re sipping a martini or a beer at a bar,” said Ed Schmults, CEO of Urbn Leaf.
The city’s four retailers, including Urbn Leaf, have expressed interest in adding a cannabis lounge to their existing location.
“Is it just like a bar or is it more of a wine tasting? Or are there things like a health and wellness seminar where you can learn about applications for pain or inflammation or anxiety or sleep? Or maybe a combination of all of those things,” Schmuls said.
City officials say the extra tax revenue can be used for city initiatives and projects. Over the past year, the cannabis industry in the city has generated over $2 million in cannabis tax revenue.
Some people are worried about where the revenue is going with someone posting this comment on Facebook, “It’s time to have an audit and public accounting to know where exactly all this revenue is going.”
However, other residents say they agree with the order.
“We’ve had bars, liquor bars for so long and it’s almost the same thing. He’s someone who goes somewhere to have fun freely without repercussions, you know what I mean?” Dakota Brewer said.
“It’s a place where people can go and do better than on the streets,” Duane Langstaff said.
City officials and cannabis owners say Grover Beach police will work with cannabis salon employees to help them recognize intoxicated patrons and prevent over-servitude of cannabis.
“Similar to a bar, a bartender can say excuse me sir or madam, you drank a little too much, I’m going to call you an Uber or a taxi. So these go to policies and approaches on which we are going to work internally and have our own Urbn Leaf approach and verify those with Grover Beach PD,” Schmults said.
The ordinance will be brought back to council in March, allowing for community input.
City officials say if passed, the ordinance will go into effect later this spring, where applicants can apply for a permit.
Last June, Lompoc was the first town to open an on-site cannabis lounge on the Central Coast.