The Man Who Received SLO's First Marijuana Sales Permit May Be Headed to Jail

On June 15, West Coast Organix became the first cannabis business to receive a permit from San Luis Obispo County under its new commercial cannabis ordinance. But we know of at least one person who won’t be attending its grand opening: owner Daniel Boyd McMonegal.

It turns out McMonegal was indicted last month on federal drug and money laundering charges. He was allegedly selling marijuana on the dark web and then laundering the proceeds with Bitcoin.

A federal grand jury in Fresno returned an 11-count indictment against McMonegal on May 17. He appears to be out of custody, and his next court date has been set for Aug. 20.

On June 15, nearly a month after he was indicted, San Luis Obispo County issued McMonegal's company a land-use permit to operate a non-storefront dispensary near the airport. It is the first permit the county has issued.

The county did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A county Planning and Building Department employee said a department official would respond to questions on Wednesday.

Among the accusations, McMonegal is charged with conspiracy to distribute a Schedule I controlled substance and distribution of a controlled substance, for marijuana sales. Penalties for those federal crimes are up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

A representative for the company noted that the permit was technically given to the company and not McMonegal, so his arrest may not affect its ability to operate.

In retrospect, there was perhaps one hint that San Luis Obispo was dealing with an unsavory character in McMonegal. He was already operating in the planned location illegally before receiving the permit, according to a June 1 Planning and Building staff report.

Read more at the San Luis Obispo Tribune