Nevada City sets special meeting on volatile extraction regulation |

Nevada City sets special meeting on volatile extraction regulation

Citing the need to better educate themselves, Nevada City’s city council and planning commission members will hear from experts regarding volatile extraction in cannabis manufacturing.

The panel discussion was put together after a moratorium on issuing such permits was proposed last month by the Nevada City Police Department, citing safety concerns.

The issue arose because edibles, tinctures and oils, which are made with cannabis extract, comprise a large part of the legal cannabis industry’s sales, and are increasing in popularity. Chemical solvents are used to extract the active ingredients from whole marijuana flowers, and city staff said such solvents are often flammable and potentially dangerous if used improperly during the extraction process.

Local cannabis business owners argued against the request, telling council members the industry is highly regulated and cannabis should not be singled out. There should be a distinction between illegal cannabis extraction labs operating in people’s homes and legal permitted businesses that use expensive closed-loop systems to process cannabis, they said.

Emerald Bay Extracts, currently operating on New Mohawk Road, has passed all its inspections for its ethanol extraction system (now classified as non-volatile), said Thrive Society cofounder Basil McMahon.

On Wednesday, City Planner Amy Wolfson told council members she has assembled a panel consisting of a Nevada County Building Plans Examiner, the Nevada County Director of Environmental Health, the Nevada City Fire Chief, and representatives from the State Department of Public Health. Wolfson noted that several cannabis business principals had offered technical assistance, but said she was more concerned with the regulation aspect.

Nevada County Cannabis Alliance Executive Director Diana Gamzon told the council she wanted to be able to show them what a volatile extraction system actually looks like, and offered to take them on a tour of the Blessed Extracts facility in Davis. Council members Reinette Senum and Erin Minett both expressed an interest in going to Davis ahead of the special meeting, which has been tentatively set for late March.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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