Grass Valey has taken the next step in moving forward with legal cannabis businesses within the city limits. At last night’s meeting, the city council unanimously approving an ordinance that will allow a dispensary, processing, and manufacturing businesses to set up shop in two areas of the city. One area is the uphill side of Idaho-Maryland Road roughly between the Golden Center Freeway and Sutton Way; and the other off South Auburn Street near McKnight Way.
Three sticking points in the approval process included the THC Tax, square footage limitations for manufacturing and processing, and setbacks for businesses.
The ordinance limits manufacturing properties to 4000 square feet, however, members of the industry say that is too restrictive, and were lobbying for more space. Mayor Lisa Swarthout provided a compromise allowing business to lobby for additional space on a case-by case situation.
Another request from the Nevada county Cannabis Alliance and other business operators was to lessen the 500 foot setback to 250 feet. Proponents say that change would make more properties available, and Grass Valley Community Development Director Tom Last, confirmed it would- starting with the Idaho Maryland area.
To allow for manageable business growth though, the council decided to not change the setback regulation, stating they can revisit the issue after businesses get started.
The public also argued that the THC tax on high potency products would prohibit medical users from accessing the product they need for treatment and relief.
Mayor Swarthout has been an advocate for legal cannabis business in Grass Valley since 2010. She says the process has been a lesson in collaboration.
The council did not change that requireenmt saying that that patients can acquire those products through the dispensary in Nevada City.
City staff was directed to come back with the implementation plan that will set the process for business application and approval process.