Nevada City dispensary application deadline looming, no takers yet |

Nevada City dispensary application deadline looming, no takers yet

Applications for Nevada City’s medical cannabis dispensary are due Thursday, but according to City Planner Amy Wolfson, nobody has submitted one yet.

Only one medical cannabis dispensary is allowed to operate in the city, so a highly competitive selection procedure was anticipated.

Applicants are required to pay an initial $2,461 in fees for phase one of the four-phase application process. All four phases would cost an applicant more than $10,000.

Applications became available July 5, and prospective business owners are required to undergo a criminal history check and submit a zoning verification letter as part of the process.

Wolfson said she’s received three zoning verification letters so far, and all of the proposed business locations have met the proximity and zoning requirements. She said zoning approval is required before an application can be submitted.

Wolfson wouldn’t disclose the locations proposed by the verifications letters, but she said that information will be available for submitted applications.

When the application window closes, the city is expected to begin phase two of the process.

During phase two, which costs $1,773, a selection committee comprised of two council members, the city manager, the police chief and the city planner will review the applications. Applicants will be evaluated based on the proposed location of their dispensary, along with their business, neighborhood compatibility, safety and security plans. The city manager will rank the applicants with a point system based on that criteria, and the top six applicants will be eligible to move on.

In phase three, which costs $2,091, the top six applicants will be interviewed and evaluated by the selection committee based on new criteria, and three will move on.

Phase four will include a public meeting and city council’s final selection and will cost the final three applicants $4,140 each.

The application process should be completed sometime during January 2018, according to an estimate by city staff.

Wolfson said Thursday at 5 p.m. is the hard deadline to apply.

“If nothing comes in, we’ll probably want to investigate the reasons why,” she said.

If the city receives some applications, but fewer than it anticipated, it will have to rethink the selection process, Wolfson said.

“I don’t know what we’ll do. We may eliminate a phase or portions of a phase,” she said.

Diana Gamzon, director of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, said she’s confident the city will receive a handful of applications by the deadline.

“It’s a very comprehensive application,” she said, “and because the city is only allowing one dispensary license, it’s a highly competitive issue. Any applicant going through this process is going to take the time to make sure it’s done right. I think people are going to be having busy weekends this weekend making sure they have everything together.”

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email or call 530-477-4231.

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