Morro Bay cannabis shop to change owners amid corruption investigation

May 17, 2022

Helios Dayspring’s ribbon cutting at the NHC Morro Bay retail pot shop

By KAREN VELIE

Marijuana mogul Helios Dayspring’s Natural Healing Center has agreed to sell three of its retail cannabis stores, including a pot shop in Morro Bay, to Glass House Brands for a combination of cash and stock equity.

Dayspring admitted in 2021 to paying thousands of dollars in bribes for favorable votes on his cannabis business interests and for deliberately failing to report millions of dollars in income to the IRS. Dayspring agreed to plead guilty to both felony offenses and cooperate in the government’s ongoing investigation, as part of a plea agreement.

In addition to agreeing to cooperate with a federal investigation into corruption, Dayspring agreed to make his best effort, prior to sentencing, to pay his unpaid taxes and $3.4 million in restitution to the IRS. A promise he said in January that he was not able to keep because selling properties in light of his guilty plea had been difficult, according to a motion to continue sentencing.

In a press release regarding the agreement, Glass House reports that NHC’s cannabis shops in Morro Bay and Lemoore have a combined yearly revenue of $15.3 million. Glass House is purchasing the two stores for approximately $22.6 million, $5.7 million in cash and the remainder in Glass House stock.

Projected to bring in $10 million a year, NHC’s fully permitted Turlock cannabis shop has not yet opened. Glass House has agreed to provide NHC stock and a promissory note based on profit levels after a year and a half of operations.

In Oct. 2018, Dayspring and Natural Healing Center hosted a fundraiser for eight local politicians, including Morro Bay Mayor John Headding and Councilwoman Dawn Addis.

After CalCoastNews reported that the eight council candidates who benefited from the fundraiser had not disclosed Dayspring’s donations, Headding and Addis filed amended financial disclosure forms which reported Dayspring’s non-monetary contribution.

Less than a year later, in Aug. 2019, Morro Bay selected NHC for one of two coveted permits. Shortly afterwards, a cannabis business that was passed over by the city, filed a lawsuit claiming the city manipulated results and ran afoul of its own laws to reward permits to favored applicants.

Amid widespread allegations of corruption in the cannabis industry, in 2021 San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Ginger Garrett ruled in favor of Morro Bay and its selection of NHC. Garrett retired suddenly shortly after Dayspring pled guilty.

Dayspring was the majority owner of three approved retail pot shops and multiple large marijuana grows in SLO County, as well as many cannabis businesses in other counties in California. However, shortly before he pled guilty, Dayspring transferred interest in many of his businesses to his live-in girlfriend Valnette Garcia.

Dayspring, who faces a 13-year maximum prison term, is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Los Angeles on May 27.


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don

He still owns the controlling share of Megan’s Organic Market, i.e. MOM INC. The City of SLO is apparently is looking the other way on that one. MOM SLO LLC is owned by MOM USA LLC, and MOM USA LLC is owned by MOM INC a Delaware Corp which only law enforcement can get ownership information on.


analyticone

Grover Beach invited them to town – welcomed them with open arms, in fact, recruited them! Only one problem. Over half of the cannabis sales is still black market. And that’s why SLO County has a much higher death rate from fentanyl than other state or national municipalities. We invited them in and now they’re here.


retiredpoliceofficer

Judge Garret had 2 years remaining in her term when she retired, she gave two days notice. Considering the timeline it would not be overreach to believe she was dirty. I suspect the FBI gave her a choice to retire or be charged.


How come the FBI only bagged Dayspring? He was supposed to give them other corrupt politicians as part of his plea deal. Instead they only come up with a dead man, Hill. How corrupt is the local FBI?


Where are the results of their investigation into the death of Andrew Holland in SLO jail?

It’s been years!


commonsenseguy

What a disgusting industry. I hope this whole corrupt industry goes under. The destruction of lives, families, and even death being glorified. Our culture continues its rapid downward spiral. When governments and communities embrace things so destructive, it doesn’t end well.


obispan

The ownership transfers have to be approved by local governments. Looks like a lot more money will be again flowing under the table. A lottery among multiple vetted applicants is the only way to end this 110% corrupt process. Similar to the state process for liquor licenses.


unusualsuspect

Pretty sure people only care if the shops stay open or not…


Zoiebowie

How’s the whole legalized marijuana working out SLO? Bribery, corruption, deaths? What did you expect legalizing drugs?


Adam Trask

I’d say pretty well. Lots of jobs created by dispensaries and growers. Smokers who had been in the shadows and at the mercy of the dealers are now in the open. Bribery and corruption have always followed the establishment of “sinful” businesses—go back and study the history of prohibition. One death, that I know of—a scumbag politician who was too greedy. Good riddance.


NorthSide

Just say no Adam.


Boldguy

How did Dayspring get out of naming all the other bureaucrats and politicians that he bribed?

To think that it was only Adam Hill that was corrupt is ludicrous!!!