Nevada City approves medical cannabis business application procedure | TheUnion.com

Nevada City approves medical cannabis business application procedure

The Nevada City Council approved the application procedure and fee structure for medical cannabis businesses — excluding dispensaries — Wednesday night, with a slight tweak to the price tag.

An initial staff report said prospective business owners would have to pay up to $4,500 in fees. The preparation of a zoning verification letter, the report said, could cost up to $2,461 — a large portion of the price.

But City Planner Amy Wolfson said Wednesday night the preparation of a letter would likely only take her about two hours, and would cost somewhere around $150.

The council agreed on a conservative price estimate for the preparation of those letters, and updated the fees to say that a zoning letter could cost up to $500, reducing the total price tag of an application, with all fees included, to about $2,531.

Wolfson said the initial estimate for the price of a zoning letter was based on the cost calculated for a prospective medical cannabis dispensary business, but writing letters for other businesses would be much less time-consuming.

Mayor Duane Strawser said the application fees are to pay city staff for their time.

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"We are not doing this to generate a profit," he said.

Fees for applicants include $1,550 to compensate city staff for their time in reviewing the application, $300 for a state background check if the applicant applies before the city has been granted federal background check access, $72 for a live scan, $100 dollars for the preparation of a notice to property owners within 300 feet of the proposed business location, $15 per notice for mailing fees and up to $500 for the preparation of a zoning verification letter for the proposed location.

The application process requires that prospective business owners submit a written application, undergo a criminal history check and present their business to the city's planning commission for review at a public meeting.

City council members unanimously approved the application procedure and fees.

The applications are for medical cannabis cultivation, distribution, transportation, manufacturing and testing laboratory businesses.

A separate application and fee structure has been created and approved for prospective business owners hoping to open a medical cannabis dispensary. Dispensary applicants are required to pay more than $10,000 in fees for the entire application process, which includes multiple phases. Only one medical cannabis dispensary is allowed to operate in Nevada City.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email mpera@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.

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