By Ed Martin, Editor
Natural Healing Center (NHC) founder Helios Dayspring talks to customers after opening Lemoore's second cannabis dispensary in Lemoore Saturday, July 4.
Natural Healing Center (NHC) founder Helios Dayspring talks to customers after opening Lemoore's second cannabis dispensary in Lemoore Saturday, July 4.

Lemoore’s quaint, picturesque downtown, got a bit of a facelift on Saturday (July 4) when the community’s second cannabis dispensary opened its doors to the public for the first time. Local expectations for some are that the Natural Healing Center (NHC) could be the start of something big for the downtown area – and the city.

City officials are also betting that cannabis can help stabilize the city’s finances, hit hard recently by the coronavirus pandemic. A development agreement with the city stipulates that NHC will pay the city five percent of its gross sales on an annual basis and annually donate $24,000 to local charities and events.

What visitors saw Saturday morning as the  NHC team opened its doors to the public was not merely a store but a modern, sleek, welcoming cannabis dispensary, a facility its owners say is the first of its kind in the Valley, if not California.

“It’s a beautiful building,” said Michelle Garcia, who arrived at the grand opening with her mom, Victoria, both of whom use cannabis for medical reasons. “I like the idea. I think this is going to be a moneymaker for the city.”

Garcia’s assessment seemed to sum up the collective estimates by many of Saturday’s visitors, some of whom came by just to view the modern, almost Apple-store-like ambiance, while others perused the extensive collection of cannabis products, including both medical and recreational marijuana.

“We think it may be the finest dispensary in the state,” said local boy Jake German, NHC’s controller, who helped convince his superiors that Lemoore could be a good site for a dispensary. German told The Leader on Saturday that he expects 400 to 500 persons a day will visit the new store and spend collectively $80 to $95 per transaction.

Natural Healing Center’s founder, Helios Dayspring, seems to have an affinity for July 4. His first cannabis dispensary, in Grover Beach, also celebrated its grand opening on July 4, precisely two years before. “Our first project was in Grover Beach. We opened one about two years ago on July 4 actually – two years ago today,” he said, hinting at the irony.

“We’ve really built a successful business. It’s integrated with the community,” said Dayspring. “We do really well over there, and our controller, Jake German, really wanted to push this business over to his hometown and bring the same level of commitment to here that we have at Grover Beach. Lemoore is his hometown, and we decided to push over here and make the investment.”

A security guard watches over the new Natural Health Center dispensary which opened its doors on Saturday, July 4 in Lemoore.
A security guard watches over the new Natural Health Center dispensary which opened its doors on Saturday, July 4 in Lemoore.

While German’s advocacy was important, it was NHC’s interaction with local officials that may have sealed the deal. “One of the main decisions was how easy the city was to work with,” said Dayspring, who talked freely to the press as a large scoreboard-like bank of futuristic television monitors, hovered just behind him, only one of the many features in the new dispensary.

“They (city officials) were extremely receptive to the business. They were extremely proactive in making the process a very fair one that moved along quickly. Some cities really drag their feet and make it hard to get going. Lemoore was smart, proactive, moved fast, and we were really appreciative to come over here and work with the city.”

Lemoore City Manager Nathan Olson was on hand Saturday afternoon to welcome the city’s newest business. “I think he’s definitely upped the game,” said Olson about Dayspring’s vision.  “You look at this building and the work they’ve done inside it. It’s second to none in the state as far as these dispensaries go.”

Olson went on to say that Dayspring has already met with downtown merchants. An NHC official sits on the downtown’s advisory committee, and Dayspring has already engaged the city in how NHC can help improve the downtown area and the downtown park adjacent to the new dispensary.

Dayspring plans to take over the maintenance of the downtown park, a green area icon flanked by a pair of picturesque murals and an arbor. “We think it’s just a great benefit to provide to the downtown,” said Dayspring of the longtime park adjacent to his new business.  

“A big part of this whole business plan was downtown revitalization. So, in knowing that we made the entrance to our building in the back of the building and the exit in the front, all of our customers can exit into the downtown without affecting the parking and patronize all these other businesses. That’s very important to us.”

“They’re basically going to assume it (downtown park) financially, clean it up, add some more groundcover, get the trees all pruned up, and essentially take over the health and maintenance of the place. They want to have a nice community. They want to have a nice area for their customers to come to visit and go through it. The whole part of this was to partner with the city and help make the downtown a better place,” said Olson.

Visitors enter through the back of the dispensary, go through a visitor check-in, and then enter the modern, futuristic store, where they immediately spot, hanging from the ceiling,  large banks of television screens descending from what used to be a bank ceiling. The visually enticing images display everything from videos to store offerings.

The store’s actual design was envisioned by John Lieberman, a local designer, and owner of John Joseph Interiors. He depended on local contractors Nick Reed and Michael Bush, to carry out his vision, and they appear to have succeeded if one judges success by the pleasing looks of visiting customers.

Directly beneath the video behemoth is a central display case where the dispensary employees answer questions about the variety and types of cannabis available for purchase.

In an adjacent room is a “smoker’s lounge” scheduled to open soon where patrons can check out their recently purchased merchandise.

“I’ve been in this business for the last 15 years,” said Dayspring.  “It’s been my way of life, and I’ve been involved in the medical field for a long, long time. Pushing the medical side of this business forward has been a passion of mine, and now it (has) kind of translated over to bringing that medical outlook to a recreational vehicle and turn it into educational components to really bring the consumer up to speed on where this industry is gone and how fast.”

NHC isn’t alone in Lemoore. Just a few weeks ago, Woodlake’s Valley Pure opened a dispensary in Lemoore’s Train Station Depot, and last October, the city also approved a development agreement with a company, Wellsona Partners, to operate a cultivation facility in the Lemoore Industrial Park.

Lemoore could earn about $200,000 annually in cultivation fees and gross receipts and five percent from deliveries.


Second Lemoore cannabis dispensary, Natural Healing Center, opens its doors in Lemoore and brings different look to downtown