Dispensaries are coming to Monterey after council chooses the city’s first cannabis storefronts. – Monterey County Weekly

Dispensaries will soon open their doors in Monterey, following the city council’s May 21 decision to approve the permits for four cannabis retail stores.

The council voted 4-0 in favor of the permits. Councilmember Ed Smith, who has consistently voted against cannabis operations throughout the city’s process, was absent.

The council began discussing a plan for cannabis in late 2020, which later included a voter-approved measure that established tax rates on businesses.

In late 2023, the city issued a call for cannabis businesses to apply. The 13 applications were narrowed down to eight, and the top eight were interviewed by Mayor Tyller Williamson and Vice Mayor Kim Barber.

The interviews netted a top four: Monterey Responsible and Compliant Retail LLC (Embarc), Element 7 SF4 LLC (Element 7), Monterey Pacific Retail Holdings, Inc. (Culture Cannabis Club) and OTC Monterey, LLC (Off the Charts).

During a drawing, where City of Monterey Property Manager Janna Aldrete pulled the names of the businesses out of a glass jar, dispensary representatives chose their preferred area out of the four listed.

Element 7’s name was pulled from the jar first, and picked the downtown district (which excludes Alvarado Street). Off the Charts was next, and chose Lighthouse Avenue/Foam Street, Culture Cannabis Club selected the

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