One year later: Elevation 2477’ looks back after first year of business in Nevada City
569 Searls Ave, Suite D, Nevada City
Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays
Almost a year ago, Elevation 2477’ received the licensing to open its doors.
At that time, it became Nevada County’s first medical cannabis dispensary. In January, the dispensary got the permits to sell cannabis for recreational use to adults. Today, it’s the only cannabis dispensary in western Nevada County.
This past year, Elevation 2477’ saw over 24,000 customers, including individuals from 19 different countries, according to the company’s co-owner Daniel Batchelor.
“On a busy day we see hundreds of people,” he said.
According to Nevada City records, Elevation 2477’ was in the top 25 for sales tax producers for the city out of 526 businesses, excluding revenue from excise taxes. When comparing 2017-18 and 2018-19 numbers from July to March, the city’s sales tax revenue increased from $822,497 to $836,655.
Total excise tax from the 2018-19 fiscal year was $172,765 — which includes all cannabis-related businesses, much of which are in manufacturing and distributing, according to Nevada City Manager Catrina Olson. Olson said that, prior to June 5, 2018, excise tax revenue for things like cigarettes and alcohol were only collected at the state level.
From Jan. 1 to present, Elevation 2477’ generated over $100,000 of excise tax revenue for the city, said Batchelor. Additional excise tax revenue, he said, has gone to the state.
Batchelor said the last year has been a learning opportunity for him, especially operating within such a scrutinized industry.
“The first year is never easy for any business,” Batchelor said in an email to The Union. “The additional level of scrutiny that cannabis businesses have to undergo, coupled with (the) changing regulations, has made our first year a very important period for learning the ropes of the new regulated industry and creating the systems and processes needed to operate a fully compliant dispensary.”
The co-owner of the only dispensary in town wrote that he’s pleased with how the community has come around to accepting his business.
“We feel very blessed to have been embraced even by people who had originally opposed our plan,” said Batchelor.
Batchelor said he has been surprised with how many seniors have embraced the dispensary.
“This particular age group is very eager to learn about cannabis products and cannabis science,” Batchelor said, “and they feel very comfortable walking into our establishment.”
Although there were concerns, city officials have been pleased with the creation and ongoing work of the dispensary.
“We’ve really had no issues at all,” said Nevada City Chief of Police Chad Ellis. “They run a really professional business,” including allowing for police inspections.
City Council member Erin Minett agreed, adding that although there were concerns about the potential for an uptick in crime related to the business, that’s not yet proven to be true.
“We’ve had nothing go wrong,” said Minett, later noting, “The city is definitely benefiting” from the tax dollars the dispensary generates, as well as Batchelor’s involvement in the community.
City Council member Duane Strawser said the company has met, and sometimes exceeded, his expectations over the year.
“All appearances are the business and their staff are doing well, and are following the rules,” he said.
Strawser admitted he was “concerned about the discrepancies in the process” for choosing which medical dispensary should open in Nevada City. He had thought a “nonprofit made more sense” and preferred a slower transition to allowing recreational cannabis sales. Still, he acknowledged the benefits of the swift change.
“It’s a tremendous amount more than if it was just medicinal,” he said.
Batchelor agreed, explaining that sales tripled once the company shifted to recreational.
City Council member David Parker said he had high expectations for Elevation 2477’, which will likely continue to rise in the coming year.
“In regards to that expectation, I salute Elevation 2477’ for the great job they have done so far,” Parker said in an email to The Union. “I truly think that their second year will only get better for the Nevada City community.”
MORE TO COME?
While Strawser, Minett and Ellis are pleased with the results yielded from Nevada City’s first dispensary, they said the council likely won’t approve another because of the city’s size.
Instead, Strawser said Grass Valley and the greater county “need to step up” to open a dispensary — a point echoed by Minett and Ellis.
While Elevation 2477’ is doing well, Batchelor said the larger market for legal cannabis has not exactly been easy, but he’s hopeful that it’s changing.
“It has been a tough 18 months for the legal cannabis industry,” Batchelor said, “from adjusting to the changing regulations (and) high taxes to stringent testing requirements. But I think we are beginning to see the legal market (stabilizing), and any business that runs a tight compliant ship, has a vision and a good team is likely to not just survive these changing times, but thrive.”
Those regulations he mentioned include added testing for cannabinoids, pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals and microbials.
Generally, Batchelor said if legal market conditions improve, it will mean more money and a better product for everyone.
“I really do believe,” Batchelor said, “the quality of cannabis in this area will place the foothills region on the map as an important producer of cannabis in California.”
To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4219.
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