Marijuana mogul evicts Old Town Market in Orcutt

May 5, 2020

By KAREN VELIE

Orcutt’s iconic Old Town Market is closing, the tenants evicted by marijuana mogul Helios Dayspring, who recently purchased the building.

After more than 70 years, locals will lose the only grocery store in Old Town Orcutt. They may, instead, have a marijuana retail shop in their future.

“There are people in our community who don’t drive, they rely on this store,” said neighbor Chuck Williams.

Unaware the owners of the western style building on Clark Avenue were selling the property, Mark and Wendy Steller, the owners of the Old Town Market, were stunned when they received an eviction notice to vacate the property within 90 days after the end of the shelter at home order.

Since late last year, multiple marijuana business owners have showed interest in opening retail pot shops or delivery businesses in Orcutt. At this time, none have been approved.

Dayspring, however, has been successful at garnering retail permits in Morro Bay, Grover Beach, and San Luis Obispo. A handful of Dayspring’s former employees and a partner, allege Dayspring has plied local officials with cash and free cannabis to secure the coveted permits.

Tony Brocking, a former employee of Dayspring, said his former boss boasted he had paid public officials.

“Dayspring told me he paid the mayor (Grover Beach) $100,000,” Brocking said. “He was guaranteed a spot.”

While working to secure permits, Dayspring regularly donates money to local nonprofits, including the Central Coast Aquarium in Morro Bay, Exploration Station in Grover Beach, Rise in San Luis Obispo, and more recently, multiple nonprofits in Northern Santa Barbara County.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to support our local communities, NHC (Natural HealingCenter) has made substantial gifts over these past few months to several local nonprofits, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast, The United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County, and Blochman Union School District,” Dayspring announced in a May 3 email.

Helios Dayspring, on the right, donating $10,000 to a school district.

Dayspring has not returned requests for comment.

On April 14, Stacy Wooten, a consultant who works for Dayspring, filed articles of organization for Orcutt Holdings LLC, listing Dayspring’s home address on Los Osos Valley Road in San Luis Obispo County as the business address for the limited liability company. Four days later, a statement of information was filed with the state, listing Dayspring as the owner of the LLC.

On April 24, Orcutt Holdings LLC purchased the Old Town Market building and several other parcels for $1.6 million. A week later, Dayspring sent the Stellers and eviction notice.

On May 3, Dayspring also announced plans to open a retail pot shop in Orcutt.

“NHC has decided to apply for a retail location in Orcutt,” Dayspring said in his announcement. “Santa Barbara County has created a rigorous new process that will allow six cannabis retailers to apply and ultimately secure a permit to operate in one of the six specific zones in Santa Barbara County. And because this will be a very competitive process, our loyal customers and patients will be a valuable resource in helping us receive the approval of Santa Barbara County.”

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RoneeCee

Just sickening. I have no problem with people using pot I even signed to legalize it, but this is out of control. Taking bribes from an ex-felon and evicting people from a community business that is essential to the locals, especially the older people – just sickening! I have been to that little store many times and it brings so much charm to the area, I cannot believe the city approved this. Old town Orcutt should be about small community and Old Town charm, not corruption. What is next, a damn adult store next to it? This town is about families and their children growing up with good values. I don’t care what this guy thinks he has done for the boys or girls club (probably for a tax write-off) he is a sleaze and there are other areas where the dispensary can open but throwing these good people out is wrong and immoral. Money really is the root of evil.


kevin rise

Oh my lord you are freaking out, do you know how much virgin land I’ve watched plowed down for vineyards and houses in the central coast gentrified to hell, and your spilling tears over a tiny liquor store which will now be a multi million dollar economy booster. Keep your anger and tears for the 1 billion starving humans on earth. Lordy, settle the heck down. Reality check yeah, sheesh, so many cry babies here. Friggin Obama and Gavin, must of been their fault somehow. Or Debbie’s, John’s, Adam’s, or Bruce’s. Its someones fault but not mine!!! THEY SOLD IT, SOLD IT, blame the damn owners for gods sake jesus h christ!!!! God forbid I can’t get my hostess twinkies and malt liquor and wonder bread at the corner store dear god grow up.


kevin rise

If you dont like change and tax revenue, leave the area. Change happens, this is Capitolism at work. I’d be gracious for a huge revenue boost to the economy and about 20 new jobs for locals. Haters love to hate what they dont understand. I dont see people crying over Wineries or Massive Breweries; Firestone, destroying our aquifer. We love the Firestone family and their slave based colonists wealth from Liberia Africa and their rubber plantations, and the Resnicks. BS on having it both ways. If you want to get rid of rich people, do it all at once and dont discriminate or be a Snowflake. Please get rid of the rich, I beg.


RoneeCee

Capitalism can work both ways good or bad. Face it there really aren’t many good “ism’s” The guy that is opening another Pot shop is more like a communist. I know quite a few rich people who also think closing this store is a bad decision. why not contact the city council and tell them to stop taking bribes and have some damn morals?


ajdury

why not contact the city council and tell them to stop taking bribes and have some damn morals?


Orcutt isn’t a city, nor is it within city boundaries. Orcutt is unincorporated and thus does NOT have a city council, a mayor, etc.


kevin rise

Pot shops are the same as a damn tasting room, quit with this bias discriminatory bs, you have the damn resnicks and Firestone in Paso, Firestone owns a stinking slave plantation in Liberia funding the damn brewery, GOOGLE IT, “firestone liberia” please please. Resnicks are psychopathic rich folk. Is this Hurst marijuana propaganda crap still alive and well. Pot helps cancer, epilepsy and so on, and it is sooo much safer than booze. I hate the wine and beer industry. It’s disgusting due to loss of life and me being beaten as a kid by a drunk downing Popov and Corona every night!!!!


kevin rise

Bribes, it’s called LOBBYING, like Firestone brewery and the Resnicks. Look at friggin John Hamon in Paso and Kelly Gearhart, adam, debbie and Bald Peschong from the Adam’s family. Agreed, rich people start wars, end wars, and killed earth long ago. Doom. Who runs US ag, friggin Monsanto CEOs. Who cares, me? Swear to God the lack of modern education of posters here is almost 90% whom haven’t a clue of how the world works or the economy.


Murse

Nick Andre moved to SLO, self-employed as a website developer, and did some work for Adam Hill. In 2016, he volunteered to help Heidi Harmon run her campaign for mayor of SLO and soon after, formed the SLO Progressives which gave Nick substantial power to determine who is endorsed as a candidate for local elections. Along came Helios Dayspring. He befriended Nick, and lo and behold, Helios gets his cannabis permits, and Nick is now a partner in one of the most lucrative cannabis businesses on the central coast: The Natural Healing Center.


mercut1469

Another example of free market capitalism. The same scenario has been played out countless times in the U.S. since the Constitution was signed in 1787. People in the know or with money to invest have always thrived in our free market capitalist system. Read some Milton Friedman if you think I’m wrong.


kevin rise

They’ll complain all day and yet call them selves constitutionalists while boycotting the free market lol. Cry babies and hypocrites here. Forget about Adam Hill, this is no different than debbie and john and north county ag, quit bitching and downvoting folks.


mercut1469

Sounds like a case of free market capitalism to me.


1965buick

Exactly right. Can’t have it both ways. Want big government or not?


RoneeCee

so do you like socialism and communism better? I’m not for this closing of the store but we are all guilty in some form of capitalism RICH or NOT


kevin rise

It’s a friggin corner store AND its was SOLD holy friggin hell, wtf is the problem??? Memories, it’s called gentrification, stop the system if you hate it.