Field cleared for Grass Valley cannabis dispensary
After months of review, the committee scoring Grass Valley retail cannabis candidates hoping to operate a dispensary have been narrowed down to a top competitor to operate the city’s lone dispensary.
“The cannabis dispensary applicant ranked the highest was Provisions,” said Tom Last, community development director. “They can now apply for a permit.”
Cameron Brady, an attorney representing Provisions, said the outfit is in the process of submitting its commercial cannabis permit application.
“We understand that to be granted approval to operate the first storefront cannabis dispensary in Grass Valley is a great honor and responsibility,” Brady said. “And we are ready and excited to serve the city and citizens of Grass Valley.”
Scoring benchmarks were determined by several facets, including cannabis knowledge; ownership team evaluation; if the business offers well paid, quality jobs; and overall business experience.
“The finance department reviewed applications, making sure the budget numbers made sense and the police department made a review to make sure there’s no red flags, and then turned it over to the (scoring) committee,” Last said.
Provisions intends to operate out of the former Ag Natural building, 403 Idaho Maryland Road.
The application fee for the permit is $2,137.60. The fee was based on estimated gross annual revenue of $500,000 or less annually. A license fee is payable once the application fee is approved by the state’s Department of Cannabis Control, and is due each year when the business renews its license.
“Provisions expects to open the summer of 2022,” said Brady. “As residents ourselves, we share the city’s interests in preserving the unique charm of Grass Valley both in the exterior design of a new business, as well as the underlying operational procedures and programs. Our dispensary concept was created in partnership with local architect Russel Davidson, and local designer Bri Ingram.
AG Natural will move across the street to 403 Idaho Maryland Road, the former Foothills Event Center. Sierra Flower intended to operate a dispensary out of the former center, though the city is only allowing one such business.
A representative of Sierra Flower couldn’t be reached for comment.
Sierra Flower, along with Grass Valley Brand, were the two applicants who scored best for distribution permits, Last said. Additionally, Grass Valley Brand and Xotic Nursery Inc. can get nursery permits. There are also two permits for testing labs and 10 manufacturing permits still vacant.
“It’s first-come, first-serve at this point,” said Last. “As long as they obtain a state license and city permit, they’ll be allowed to move forward.”
As to when other cannabis business doors open, they need to obtain the necessary licenses, Last said.
“And they’ll need to build or redevelop an existing site,” he said. “That is mostly in the businesses’ court to complete.”
As for the range of tax revenue the city could anticipate, Last said, “Each applicant included numbers, but those numbers are most likely very exaggerated, so the city is not relying on those estimates.”
The selection committee was comprised of former Mayor Lisa Swarthout; Marty Lombardi, president of the board of directors of the Sierra Hospital Memorial fund; and Jonathan Collier, co-founder of Live, Work Thrive Nevada County, a housing advocacy group.
Amy Wolfson, Nevada City planner, was a member of the committee, though she resigned.
At prior City Council meetings, the issue of potential litigation challenging the selection of the dispensary applicant had arisen. City Manager Tim Kiser said staff was working on a plan should any action be taken, though none has yet occurred.
William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
If the cannabis market — legal and illicit — was looking risky before, the industry’s countenance is now straight hostile.