City of Grover Beach logoAt its meeting on May 23, the Grover Beach City Council voted to adopt Ordinance No. 22-05, amending Chapter 18 of the Grover Beach Municipal Code (GBMC) to allow and regulate onsite cannabis consumption areas and temporary cannabis special events.

“Grover Beach has four cannabis retailers that have demonstrated their commitment to following the City’s regulations as they generate economic activity,” said Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee. “We are confident that our cannabis retailers will maintain these standards if they pursue onsite consumption for their customers in a safe and responsible way.”

In January, the Grover Beach City Council explored policy options to allow the four existing commercial cannabis retailers to operate onsite cannabis consumption areas. These consumption areas will provide a responsible location to consume medical and recreational cannabis for customers and are anticipated to provide additional sales opportunities for the retailers, which in turn would increase the City’s tax revenues that fund capital projects and citywide services.

Based on City Council’s feedback and direction, City staff presented a proposed ordinance to allow and regulate cannabis lounges during a public hearing on May 9. To address concerns related to the potential impact of outdoor smoke on surrounding areas, City staff updated the proposed ordinance for outdoor consumption areas to require odor absorbing ventilation and exhaust systems to prevent any odor vapor or smoke from being detected outside the property boundaries, and to prohibit consumption areas from being visible from any public place or non-age restricted area.

Only the four cannabis retail businesses that have been approved by Council can obtain a Cannabis Consumption Business Permit. The proposed ordinance includes requirements for Cannabis Special Events Permits, including a requirement that any consumption area that includes smoking or vaping must be a designated building or other fully enclosed temporary structure, such as a tent, with a ventilation system that would prevent odors from being detected offsite. Additionally, the special event organizer must submit a site plan that designates areas for onsite consumption before the event is approved by City staff.

“The City Council took great care in making this decision as the City continues to lead the way in creating a safe, thriving local commercial cannabis industry,” stated City Manager Matthew Bronson. “Enabling our businesses to provide safe consumption spaces for both local residents and visitors expands economic opportunities in Grover Beach and strengthens our revenue sources to better serve our community.”

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