Arroyo Grande closes medical marijuana delivery service

June 11, 2018

Tami Peluso

By KAREN VELIE

The only business licensed under new state regulations to deliver medical marijuana in Arroyo Grande, Elite Care, was shut down last week over a disagreement regarding the term premise. [Cal Coast Times]

After struggling to find medical marijuana for her mother, who suffered from cancer, Tami Peluso began researching the cannabis industry. In 2012, Peluso and Cynthia Gonzalez left their jobs with Fortune 500 companies to join the cannabis industry.

Unlike many in the industry, Peluso and Gonzalez planned to operate strictly under the letter of the law.

Last summer, the city of Arroyo Grande granted Elite Care a permit to operate as an Arroyo Grande medical marijuana delivery services. In January, the state issued Elite Care the first cannabis delivery permit in California.

Peluso and Gonzalez believed having a premise in the city meant they could have a warehouse in Arroyo Grande. However, city administrators disagreed and said the intent of the ordinance was to require marijuana businesses to have a physical address outside of the city limits. Because of the lengthy process to get approval for medical marijuana businesses, Peluso and Gonzalez do not have the ability to quickly move their business to another community.

While city staffers and Elite Care’s owners worked to comply with the state’s very fluid regulations, it became clear that they did not agree on the meaning of terms in the ordinance.

Cynthia Gonzalez

City Manager James Bergman then directed staff to send a letter to the state asking it to revoke Elite Care’s state permit. Last week, the lady’s informed their 400 clients they were no longer permitted to deliver medical marijuana.

“The representatives of the business in this case study (Elite Care), the only delivery service to have received a city delivery license, have expressed frustration with the process and staff,” a staff report says. “The representatives believe that the city’s ordinance not only permits but requires a non-discretionary approval of a retail non-storefront use on Grand Avenue, while staff believes that the use is prohibited by the AGMC.”

Peluso and Gonzalez have not only left their former jobs and moved to San Luis Obispo County, they have also spent approximately $405,000 opening their medical marijuana business.

“We definitely hope that people will come to the city council meeting and show their support for medical cannabis and the ability to have it delivered to their home,” Peluso said.

On Tuesday, the Arroyo Grande City Council will decide whether or not the city will permit delivery services to have a warehouse in the city.

“I would like them to get a medicinal non-storefront approval,” Mayor Jim Hill said. “Hopefully, reasonable heads will prevail and we can continue to support our residents. They have certainly tried to follow the rules.”







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6 Comments

  1. AGDUDE says:

    No Worries I jump in Me car , and head on down to De Crack House no worries Load Me up mon, Roll me up a fatty for the way home ..

  2. CCWine says:

    There already are plenty of delivery services (see: WeedMaps). My friends in SLO use them and they work fine. Having a storefront to make it fast, convienent, and discrete for busy people would be a new thing… but it looks like the powers that be are still unsettled at the sight of a dispensary. Kind of sad that these entrepreneurs tried to do it right but still failed, which signals to the industry that the central coast is still not ready, through all of our surrounding counties are.

  3. SLO_Children_at_play says:

    I’m not sure why the Marijuana crowd would think they are somehow special, all Government in California is hostile to all businesses. Even if your industry has the potential to generate the much needed tax dollars for California cities to alleviate the burden of the PERS fiasco, they’ll still treat you a second class citizens. In California all Government has to do is raise taxes whenever the need more money to piss away, not need to be business friendly to generate tax revenue. These ladies did their best to operate “strictly under the letter of law,” things just went from bad to worse for them. The more you get our modern Government involved in your business, the more they can do to shut you down. I would suggest these two women move to Oregon, where pot is as free flowing as opportunities for growth. California has become nothing more than a giant gated retirement community for the elderly Liberal elite.

  4. discloser says:

    This is just plain weird. These 2 gals are hard working, honest individuals with their clients’ medical interests at heart and very high quality products. It looks more like the SLO County cabal is alive and well in AG and in the Council majority.

    • Noodly Appendages says:

      I find it hard to believe that “These 2 gals are hard working, honest individuals with their clients’ medical interests at heart and very high quality products.”
      I called this service looking for pain relief and had the most horrifyingly unprofessional replies imaginable given as answers to my questions. When I asked about a certain drink based product, the crone in the background screeched “Tell him we don’t have that shit”! The take away I got was, I am an idiot for not being a long time stoner and weed expert. Also, they claimed to have a depository I could pick up at. Clearly rules were being stretched. The only reason they got all the press they did was because they were a couple of women and the liberal press eats up that image of the heroic underdog. Terp Nerds was professional and on time. I feel much better now.

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