Nevada County Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to two changes to the local cannabis cultivation permitting process that will ease the process for growers trying to get legit.
They unanimously approved a pre-application process for temporary local authorization, an essential step for cultivators gaining a temporary state license before a Dec. 31 cut-off date. Both the local authorization and the state license are needed to enter the legal market.
According to Nevada County Cannabis Alliance Executive Director Diana Gamzon, it could take up to six months for someone to obtain an annual state license, and that’s after getting local authorization.
Community Development Agency Director Sean Powers told the supervisors there is a timeline problem because the state’s temporary licenses are set to expire at the end of the year. The state cannot guarantee any temporary licenses applied for after Dec. 1 will be processed, with 1,000 applicants currently in the queue.
Creating temporary local authorization will provide a path for compliance under the permanent ordinance currently under discussion by the board, he said. The process will involve an administrative review of the pre-application for conditional approval, to ensure compliance with the draft ordinance. Some of those requirements, he noted, include a primary residence on site, a legal water source, compliant zoning and minimum parcel size.
No cultivation or growing will be allowed under the temporary local authorization until the county’s pending Environmental Impact Review is complete, currently with a target date is May 1; the new cannabis cultivation ordinance has been adopted; and county staff can inspect the property for compliance.
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If growers intend to apply for a permit in 2019, they should get this temporary local authorization, Powers said, adding. “This is simply to preserve (your) place in line.”
County Counsel Alison Barratt-Green stressed