Nevada City cannabis dispensary gets approval for adult-use sales | TheUnion.com

Nevada City cannabis dispensary gets approval for adult-use sales

Nevada County Cannabis Alliance's Diana Gamzon purchases a Floracy extracts product at Elevation 2477', the first customer of the Nevada City medicinal cannabis dispensary when it opened in August. Floracy, led by Harry Bennett, who is second in line to make a purchase, is the only product entirely produced in Nevada County.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

It’s official.

Nevada City is the first municipality in Nevada County to allow adult-use cannabis businesses to operate within its city limits, approving an amendment to its cannabis ordinance at a city council meeting Wednesday.

That means Elevation 2477’, which opened as a medical cannabis dispensary in August on Searls Avenue, could potentially be selling to customers without a medical recommendation by the beginning of the new year.

“I believe this is a win-win situation for everyone,” said dispensary co-owner Daniel Batchelor. “The city will receive more tax revenue, more patients will have access, as well as adults over the age of 21 who use cannabis as a lifestyle choice — and we will no longer have to turn away two-thirds of the business that walks into the store.”

It took months of controversy last year for Nevada City to approve the establishment, permitting and regulation of medical-only cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distributing and testing laboratory businesses. And it took more controversy before the city awarded its only dispensary permit to Elevation 2477’ in February.

Within a few months, however, the dispensary’s owners began sounding out the council about amending the ordinance, with Batchelor estimating Nevada City was losing $100,000 in tax revenue.

That potential amendment was tabled in October due to law enforcement concerns regarding monitoring.

The amended ordinance moved forward at a November city council meeting, despite council member Duane Strawser’s objection that there was a promise to wait a year before revisiting the issue. The council also agreed to look at funding a code-compliance officer who would be trained on cannabis issues.

At the second reading Wednesday, no one in attendance spoke in opposition to the amended ordinance.

Amelia Paterson, a Nevada County resident who founded Blessed Extracts, told the council she received approval to open her manufacturing facility in Davis in 2017, noting that city was “quicker off the draw” in allowing cannabis businesses.

“I’m excited to see progress in my own community,” she said.

Batchelor told the council he would continue to serve medical patients, calling it a “huge part” of the business. Elevation 2477’ will continue to provide educational resources, he added.

The council voted unanimously to approve the amended ordinance, with Strawser commenting, “I’m disappointed we didn’t wait a year, but I will say yes.”

Batchelor said he had already filled out the state application for an annual license, and has been approved for adult-use and medical sales pending local authorization. He noted there is a 30-day time period before the ordinance goes into effect, but said Elevation 2477’ could be selling adult-use cannabis by mid-January.

“I’m very grateful the city was willing to consider the issue and side with the voters in Nevada City and in the state,” Batchelor said. “This will ensure the longevity of our business in the community.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.


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