Nevada City council to discuss cannabis business applications | SierraSun.com

Nevada City council to discuss cannabis business applications

Matthew Pera
mpera@theunion.com

An applicant hoping to operate a medical cannabis business in Nevada City could pay upward of $4,500 in fees.

The city council will hold a public hearing to discuss the permit fees at the Wednesday, Aug. 9, council meeting, and will also vote on a resolution adopting an application process for prospective medical cannabis business owners.

The application process, if approved, will require a three-step evaluation for business permits. Once a six-page written application is submitted, staff will make a preliminary determination of completeness. Applicants will be required to undergo a criminal history check and disclose a proposed business location, a business and parking plan, and a neighborhood compatibility plan, among other details, in the written application.

City staff and planning commissioners will then have a review period to ask questions, conduct research, and prepare comments before the application is heard at a planning commission meeting, which is open to the public.

Fees for applicants include $1,550 to compensate city staff for their time in reviewing the application, $300 for a state background check if the applicant applies before the city has been granted federal background check access, $72 for a live scan, $100 for the preparation of a notice to property owners within 300 feet of the proposed business location, $15 per notice for mailing fees, and up to $2,461 for the preparation of a zoning verification letter for the proposed location, according to a staff report.

The $4,500 fee and written application is for prospective medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distributing, transporting and testing laboratory businesses.

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A separate application and fee structure has been created and approved prospective business owners hoping to open a medical cannabis dispensary. Dispensary applicants are required to pay more than $10,000 in fees for the entire application process, which includes multiple phases.

A Nevada City ordinance adopted March 22 allows only one medical cannabis dispensary to operate in the city. There is no limit on the number of other medical cannabis businesses allowed to operate, though prospective businesses are restricted to locations with the correct zoning requirements.

Nevada City has not voted to allow businesses pertaining to the use of recreational marijuana in the city.

Wednesday’s City Council meeting is begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 317 Broad St., Nevada City.