SLO County Needs to Face Their Fears and Facts on Dayspring

Aaron Ochs
5 min readAug 2, 2021
Former Natural Healing Center CEO Helios Dayspring

There is a lot to unpack with this story.

Last week, I wrote about the Dept. of Justice revealing in a press release and court filings that local marijuana mogul Helios Dayspring pled guilty in federal court to bribery and failing to report millions in income to the IRS.

Since these developments emerged, the SLO County Democratic Party has been awfully silent. Why is that?

Late District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill was a Democrat. They supported him for every one of his election and re-election bids for understandable reasons. The Democratic Party agreed with him on many issues and he had a rather consistent voting record to back his platform. But he certainly had issues whether it was behavioral or displaying the appearance of impropriety.

According to three sources involved with the San Luis Obispo chapter of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Hill told SLO NORML members in a 2016 meeting that he would support cannabis cultivators with votes on the board if they gave him at least $1,000 for his re-election campaign. Of course, that’s ethically problematic since you don’t often have a sitting county supervisor soliciting donations that way. Ideally, people and organizations donate in support of the candidate and their platform, not part of a quid pro quo arrangement.

At that point, warning signs should’ve been flashing.

In Fall 2016, two sources intimately familiar with Dayspring’s political strategies at the time revealed that Hill, Dayspring and Democratic political consultant Cory Black met at one of Dayspring’s cannabis cultivation sites in North Santa Barbara County and discussed working with SLO County officials to secure permits for Natural Healing Center, Dayspring’s cannabis dispensary chain. According to his website bio, Black was formerly a member of the California Democratic party Executive Board and member of the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Central Committee Executive Committee.

After that meeting, everyone involved sprung into action.

Hill’s role was to lock in votes favorable to Dayspring and unfavorable to his competitors in exchange for monetary and non-monetary bribes. Dayspring would go on the charm…

Aaron Ochs

Author, artist, advocate and entrepreneur from Morro Bay, California.