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Morro Bay gauges support for commercial cannabis

Greta Mart/KCBX

Morro Bay city staff and officials held a town hall meeting this week to get public feedback on the future of commercial cannabis. Residents who attended expressed their support for cultivating both retail and manufacturing cannabis businesses in the seaside city. 

Ikani Taumoepeau is Morro Bay’s deputy city manager. He said turn out for this week’s meeting was pretty good, 60 to 80 people.

“For Morro Bay, at a town hall meeting, that’s a good turn out,” Taumoepeau said. “I personally, as staff, we would love to see a bigger turnout, this is a hot topic, so I’d love to see 100-plus, 200 people in there. I know people care about it, I just wish they would show up.”

Taumoepeau said the general consensus was in favor of commercial cannabis, and city officials are looking at the possibility of permitting and regulating all aspects of commercialization including cultivation, manufacturing, testing and retail.

“Retail shop, that is one of the ones that based on the feedback that council received, they wanted that to happen,” Taumoepeau said. “Now the other question is, ok, now that you want shops, where do you want them located? So we had a map of Morro Bay and we had people put stickers on the locations they thought would be good or [where] they didn’t want any [shops].”

Morro Bay currently bans medical cannabis dispensaries within city limits, although it is possible to get it delivered there. The passage of Proposition 64 legalizing recreational cannabis could prompt a shift in policy.

Taumoepeau said city staff and officials want more feedback from the thousands of Morro Bay residents who didn’t attend Wednesday’s meeting. While no date has been set, the city council is expected to schedule more cannabis town halls in the coming months.

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