Retail pot applicant appeals decision |

Retail pot applicant appeals decision

A hopeful cannabis retailer has appealed a Grass Valley decision that denied him a permit to open a dispensary.

Max Del Real, president and CEO of Ammericann Development LLC, was notified in late November by Grass Valley Community Development Director Tom Last that NUG was not the top candidate for a dispensary, meaning it couldn’t apply for a permit.

The city is allowing only one dispensary. Provisions, which intends to operate out of the Ag Natural building on Idaho Maryland Way, was the city’s top pick.

Del Real has appealed.

In a letter addressed to Del Real, City Attorney Michael Colantuono said the City Council will consider the appointment of an independent hearing officer to handle any appeals it receives related to the Commercial Cannabis Selection Committee.

“We had a small window of opportunity to appeal, but we did it in a timely fashion,” said Del Real. “To my understanding, we were the only one to appeal out of seven total applicants.”

Del Real was informed by Grass Valley that a hearing will be held within 30 days of Dec. 10 to determine if the appeal will be accepted.

“We believe we have a compelling case,” he said. “All our locations are thriving retail cannabis businesses that provide quality jobs and, more importantly, significant tax dollars for local municipalities.”

NUG operates cannabis businesses in five locations: Sacramento, El Cerrito, San Leandro, Redding and Oakland.

Part of Del Real’s appeal strategy was to request and receive a copy of all the candidates’ dispensary applications, a copy of all candidate score sheets and all training manuals that were provided to the selection committee. All of the documents will serve as evidence in NUG’s favor, Del Real said.

Submitting a letter of support for Del Real’s original bid for a dispensary was Robert Wallis, president of Wallis Design Studio Architects, Inc. Wallis said that for more than 10 years he has worked in Grass Valley to create meaningful projects that pull from historic characteristics of the city, while creating playful, modern day experiences, such as the Courtyard Suites expansion his firm completed.

“I highly recommend NUG Inc. as a selected applicant for a commercial cannabis retail permit in the city of Grass Valley,” he said in his letter to the Community Development Department. “NUG will make an excellent dispensary operator in Grass Valley.”

NUG Inc. has a simple goal, Del Real said. He wants to open a new retail and thriving cannabis business in the city of Grass Valley.

“And we believe the solution is for Grass Valley to allow the operation of two dispensaries,” he said. “It saves us a lot of money in the appeal as well as avoiding litigation (should they pursue that). At the end of the day, with two dispensaries, there’s a lot more money in circulation and tax dollars for Grass Valley. It’s a win-win situation all around.”

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at

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