Two cannabis businesses in Nevada City get OK for expanded services |

Two cannabis businesses in Nevada City get OK for expanded services

The two cannabis manufacturing tenants currently up and running on New Mohawk Road, Thrive Society and Emerald Bay Wellness, were at the Nevada City Planning Commission on Feb. 21 and both received approvals on their requests.

Emerald Bay Wellness initially got the OK in April 2018 to operate an ethanol extraction manufacturing business with self-distribution of its product. The company came back to the planning commission to request an amendment that would allow it to distribute product from other licensed facilities in addition to its own.

According to the application, the business anticipates deliveries will increase by three trips per week as well as increase driving time and distance. It also expects approximately 20 percent of the existing distribution storage space would be devoted to full-distribution products.

Thrive Society also got its initial approval in April 2018 for a manufacturing and distribution business at 138 New Mohawk Road. Thrive was specifically authorized for mechanical extraction processes, such as pressure, heat, and/or agitation machinery to remove cannabinoid oil from raw product to produce concentrates as a finished product.

The company asked for an amendment to allow a small table-top extractor that use ethanol as the solvent. The equipment is intended to allow them to demonstrate the purity of the source product they are providing as part of their distribution business.

“This is a closed loop system,” said Thrive’s Basil McMahon. “A very small amount of ethanol is used to produce very small amount of extract. As a distributor, a lot of work we’ve been doing has been sourcing trim and flower material for manufacturers who focus on extraction.”

McMahon said even material that has been grown with minimal pesticide use might not meet the rigorous state standards, because extraction tends to concentrate the pesticides.

“It’s important to be able to demonstrate that the material will pass lab testing,” he said, adding as a distributor, the best way to demonstrate to customers that the product will be clean is to extract a sample ahead of time and send it to the lab for testing.

“We might have batch of trim, say 25 pounds,” McMahon continued. “Before selling, we want to be able to show, with third party lab testing, that it’s clean.”

McMahon told the planning commissioners this extractor is marketed for home use, but is also being used extensively in licensed business settings for this purpose.

The ethanol extraction will result in just a couple of grams of cannabis oil that is sent to a lab, McMahon explained. The manufacturer, he said, was “pretty emphatic” in assuring Thrive Society that the closed-loop device does not give off any harmful vapor.

In response to a question about security guards, McMahon said he has been in conversations with the Nevada City Police Department and that it was felt a paid guard was not needed until more tenants moved into the building. In the interim, he said, the building is locked down with a key card system.

The planning commissioners — minus commissioner Jason Rainey, who recused himself — unanimously approved both applications.

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

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