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Nevada County cannabis growers seek quick passage of new rules

Nevada County officials say they’ll likely need two days to present a cannabis ordinance and environmental report, with possible passage of both on May 14.

If passed, the grow ordinance would become effective in mid-June, unless it’s approved as an urgency ordinance. An urgency ordinance would become effective immediately, though it’s uncertain supervisors have that option.

“We’re still kind of planning it out,” said Sean Powers, director of the county’s Community Development Agency. “We really don’t know how long it’s going to take. We don’t want to feel rushed.”



The May 7 and 14 meetings are the culmination of almost three years of work toward a final grow ordinance and environmental report. The Board of Supervisors began the process after the June 2016 failure of Measure W, which if passed would have banned all outdoor grows.

The new ordinance, if approved, would allow commercial medicinal grows on properly zoned parcels that meet acreage requirements.



The ordinance could still change. Attendees to a Planning Commission meeting earlier this month asked for changes, some of which commissioners recommended to supervisors.

Implementing the new ordinance remains time sensitive.

“The Nevada County Cannabis Alliance has advocated for the ordinance to be passed as an urgency ordinance which would allow for policy to go into effect immediately,” said Diana Gamzon, executive director of the cannabis alliance, in an email. “Spring is here and plants must go into the ground in accordance with the laws of nature. Waiting until mid-June for planting would be detrimental for the crops by shortening the season.”

According to Powers, county staff must make findings justifying an urgency ordinance. Staff currently is researching those findings.

The ordinance must be adopted at a regularly scheduled supervisor meeting, Powers said.

At a special May 7 meeting staff would present its report before public comment occurred. Supervisors would then discuss the ordinance. At the regular May 14 meeting supervisors could approve the ordinance.

Powers said he’ll likely know by May 7 if supervisors could pass an urgency ordinance.

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


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