Next steps for Nevada County marijuana ordinance | TheUnion.com

Next steps for Nevada County marijuana ordinance

With only one meeting remaining, the county's marijuana community development group is inching toward completing its job of developing recommendations for a new grow ordinance.

Questions remain about that process and what shape it'll take over the next several months. Many members of the cannabis panel, along with some members of the public, have asked for a blue ribbon commission — a smaller group that along with Nevada County staff could help shepherd the creation of a draft ordinance.

Sean Powers, director of the county's Community Development Agency, said he wants to incorporate the concept of a blue ribbon commission into the recommendations, though he noted that the completion of the marijuana panel's work — the group's last meeting is Nov. 7 — won't end the community conversation.

"This is simply one chapter in the process," Powers said.

County staff will spend the next two weeks determining what items the cannabis panel should address at its last meeting. After that meeting, MIG, Inc. — the county's marijuana consultant — will write a report based on all panel meetings, including recommendations, said Mali Dyck, interim deputy CEO.

Dyck hopes county staff can receive the documents and present them to the Board of Supervisors by January. Supervisors would then give their own input that staff would use when writing the draft ordinance.

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Once written, the ordinance would proceed to the Planning Commission before advancing to supervisors.

"Our goal is have something in place by March," Dyck said. "I think that is possible, but it's going to be a lot of work."

Forrest Hurd, a medicinal cannabis advocate and a member of the community development group, said he's concerned the process hasn't resolved people's differences. Hurd and other panelists expressed concern at Tuesday's meeting about vague and nonspecific questions about setbacks and grow sizes posed to the group.

"I'm not sure how that's translating into a recommendation to the board," Hurd said.

Hurd said he'd prefer more dialogue among the group and a format that allows members to dig into the nuances and reach compromise.

"There is a ton of common ground in what appears on the surface to be polarized individuals," he added.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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