Field cleared for Grass Valley Cannabis Pharmacy

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After months of review, the committee that evaluated the Grass Valley cannabis retail candidates hoping to run a pharmacy was narrowed down to one top competitor for running the city’s only pharmacy.

“The highest ranked applicant for a cannabis pharmacy was commissions,” said Tom Last, community development director. “You can now apply for a permit.”

Cameron Brady, a commission attorney, said the company was in the process of filing its commercial cannabis application.

“We understand that getting approval is a huge responsibility,” said Brady. “And we are ready and excited to serve the city and citizens of Grass Valley.”

Scoring benchmarks were determined by several facets, including cannabis knowledge; Evaluation of the owner team; when the company offers well-paying, quality jobs; and general business experience.

“The finance department checked the applications, made sure the budget numbers were meaningful, and the police checked that there were no red flags, and then handed them over to the (scoring) committee,” said Last.

Provisions intends to operate out of the former Ag Natural building at 403 Idaho Maryland Road.

The permit application fee is $ 2,137.60. The fee was based on estimated gross annual sales of $ 500,000 or less per year. A license fee is due once the application fee is approved by the state’s Department of Cannabis Control and is due each year the company renews its license.

“Commission is expected to open in the summer of 2022,” said Brady. “As residents, we share the city’s interest in maintaining the unique charm of Grass Valley in both the exterior of a new business and the underlying operations and programs. Our pharmacy concept was created in collaboration with the local architect Russel Davidson and the local designer Bri Ingram.

TIMELINE

AG Natural will be relocating across the street to 403 Idaho Maryland Road, the former Foothills Event Center. Sierra Flower intended to run a pharmacy outside of the former center, although the city only allows one such business.

A representative from Sierra Flower was not available for comment.

Sierra Flower, along with Grass Valley Brand, were the two applicants who performed best on the sales approvals, Last said. In addition, Grass Valley Brand and Xotic Nursery Inc. can obtain kindergarten permits. In addition, two permits for test laboratories and 10 production permits are still free.

“At this point, first come, first served,” said Last. “As long as they get a state license and a city permit, they can move on.”

If other doors to cannabis deals open, they will need to obtain the necessary licenses, Last said.

“And they have to build an existing site or develop a new one,” he said. “That usually has to be done before the commercial courts.”

Regarding the tax revenue that the city could expect, Last said, “Every applicant has provided numbers, but these numbers are most likely very exaggerated so the city does not rely on these estimates.”

The selection committee consisted of the former mayor Lisa Swarthout; Marty Lombardi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sierra Hospital Memorial Fund; and Jonathan Collier, co-founder of Live, Work Thrive Nevada County, a housing advocacy group.

Amy Wolfson, Nevada town planner, was a member of the committee but resigned.

The question of a possible legal dispute to challenge the selection of the pharmacy applicant had arisen at previous city council meetings. City manager Tim Kiser said staff are working on a plan in case action should be taken when none have been taken.

William Roller is a writer for The Union. He can be reached at wroller@theunion.com