The only cannabis dispensary in Nevada County could be switching from medical-only to adult-use sales by the beginning of next year.
Months of emotional debate had marked Nevada City’s decision last year to allow for the establishment, permitting and regulation of medical-only cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distributing and testing laboratory businesses.
The city awarded its only dispensary permit to Elevation 2477′ in February. But after the dispensary opened in August, its owners found they were turning away two-thirds of their potential customers because they did not have a medical marijuana recommendation. Dispensary co-owner Daniel Batchelor told the city council he estimated the city was losing $100,000 in tax revenue.
At the council’s last meeting, a request to amend the cannabis ordinance to allow for adult-use businesses was tabled after Nevada City Police Chief James Leal and Lt. Chad Ellis brought forward concerns regarding monitoring.
On Wednesday, those concerns were discussed, as was a draft of the amended ordinance. Also on the agenda was the approval of a temporary local authorization for Elevation 2477′, which is needed for the dispensary to gain a temporary state license prior to a December cut-off date. Both the local authorization and the state license are needed to enter the legal adult-use market.
The multiple moving parts to the cannabis discussion caused a fair amount of confusion in the audience and among the council members themselves.
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As Russ Hildebrand, the city’s contract attorney explained it, the draft ordinance was brought forward sooner than expected, as a necessary first step in the process. It’s a mechanism for the temporary license for Elevation 2477′, which is conditional on the ordinance becoming effective, he said.
“We were requested to look at (the) provisional licensing, and that authority needed to be tied to something,” Hildebrand