Nevada City OK’s 5 new cannabis business permits | TheUnion.com

Nevada City OK’s 5 new cannabis business permits

Nevada City's planning commission approved permit applications for five cannabis businesses, joining seven that had their permits authorized by the commissioners earlier this year.

Of those seven cannabis businesses, some of which first submitted permits as long ago as December 2017, only one has made it all the way through the permit process so far.

Harry Bennett told planning commissioners at a hearing Monday that his business, Floracy, had delivered product for the first time on Friday.

"Some tax revenue has finally been generated," he said.

Bennett noted that Floracy submitted its permit application nearly seven months ago, receiving authorization to move forward on Jan. 18. He noted his business had been closed and producing no revenue since late December, citing the need to meet the requirements of multiple agencies.

"It's a really hard process," Bennett said, thanking the city for its support.

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Just receiving the initial OK in the permit process has been a long, drawn-out process for many of the cannabis businesses looking to open in Nevada City, most concentrated on Searls Avenue and New Mohawk Road.

Nevada City is the first municipality in the county to start approving marijuana businesses other than cultivation.

Some delays were caused initially by potential conflicts of interest on the planning commission. But the log jam was cleared with a number of the applicants OK'd in April.

Most of the applicants intend to manufacture products that include vaping cartridges, tinctures and salves. Edibles that include chocolate, power bars and even wild game jerky are also being proposed. Several of the applicants intend to distribute cannabis products as well, and one applicant — The Higher Commitment — will run a testing lab.

On Tuesday, the planning commission approved all the permit applications on its agenda — Revive Organics, Valley of Grass, Bloomfield, Shady Creek and Highest Health Collective. They join Searls Group, Floracy, Emerald Bay Wellness, CBD Power Bars, Thrive Society, Sky Farms, and The Higher Commitment.

CHANGE IN PACE?

A recent move by the city to hire a consultant should expedite the permit process from here on out.

On July 11, the Nevada City City Council approved a contract with SCI Consulting for assistance in review and inspections of medical cannabis businesses applying for permits.

The council also made some changes to the application fees for permits. Instead, Nevada City now will ask for a deposit to cover processing costs. Those changes did not affect the permits already in the pipeline, said City Planner Amy Wolfson.

City Manager Catrina Olson noted that SCI Consulting's fees were lower than the other consulting group that submitted a proposal, and added that SCI also will conduct ongoing compliance checks.

On Monday, Wolfson noted that she has one outstanding permit application in the initial review process that potentially could come before the planning commission in August. Moving forward, she said she will accept new applications through Aug. 31 and forward those on to SCI Consulting for potential review at the planning commission's October meeting.

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

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