Nevada City continues to give cannabis businesses a relief from fiscal concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city choosing to extend permits set to expire; and waive the yearly permit fee for businesses another six months. As a result of the pandemic, Nevada County Cannabis Alliance Executive Director Diana Gamzon says many of the small business including a testing lab, and manufacturing and distribution businesses have been slow to build because of struggles brought on by COVID restrictions. She also stated that the 5000 dollar fee is to offset city expenditures for staff time for permit renewal, which has not been happening because of the pandemic.
For the public’s sake, Vice Mayor Duane Strawser asked Gamzon to clarify why cannabis businesses are treated differently than other businesses. She clarified that no other industry is charged a fee by the city.
The fee was initially established as deposit to cover what appeared to be a large amount of city resources needed to review, inspect and approve a cannabis business permit.
Council members also acknowledge that not all cannabis businesses, primarily the dispensary, are not struggling and perhaps there fees should not be waived. City Attorney Chrissy Hodgson, shared not all of the businesses did take advantage of the fee waivers.
Council approved an emergency ordinance which immediately extended permits an additional six months.