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Planning Commission approves Santa Margarita cannabis facility 

Santa Margarita is one step closer to getting its first commercial cannabis business.

Members of the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission voted 4-0 on Oct. 11 to approve a conditional-use permit that will allow the GMFL Inc. and Sungrown Wellness to operate a non-storefront cannabis dispensary for mobile delivery and a distribution facility out of an existing building in Santa Margarita. Members of the commission said they reviewed the companies' applications and determined they were within the guidelines of SLO County's commercial cannabis regulations.

click to enlarge CANNABUSINESS The SLO County planning commission approved plans for a non-storefront cannabis dispensary and distribution facility in Santa Margarita. - PHOTO BY COURTESY OF THE SLO COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
  • PHOTO BY COURTESY OF THE SLO COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
  • CANNABUSINESS The SLO County planning commission approved plans for a non-storefront cannabis dispensary and distribution facility in Santa Margarita.

"This is appropriate for that type of use," Commissioner Michael Multari said. "I don't have a problem at all with voting to approve this use permit."

According to the application, the two companies plan to share a 1,236 square-foot building in the 2200 block of El Camino Real. GMFL would operate the distribution portion of the operation out of the building's southwest side, while Sungrown Wellness, a locally owned medical cannabis delivery business, would operate out of its northeast side.

"Our drivers will arrive, load up for the day's orders, then leave for the day to distribute medical cannabis to patients' homes," said Sommer Shahan, owner of Sungrown Wellness. "No cannabis will be sold from this location, and it will not be open to the public."

Per the conditions of the permit's approval, both businesses agreed to make improvements on the property, including installing security measures such as fences and cameras, implementing an odor control system, and improving landscaping outside the building. Shahan told the commissioners that the goal was to keep the facility's presence "as low-key as possible," and said the exterior style and signage of the building would remain unchanged.

"Our family has lived here and done business here for over 20 years," Shahan said. "We've raised our children here and just want the opportunity to do legal business and support our family."

Marie Roth, a Templeton resident and friend of Shahan's, urged the commission to approve the project, noting a dearth of distribution facilities in northern SLO County.

"There is literally no way for patients to obtain products at this time," she said.

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