ERC to switch focus from VR to Cannabis

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. April Fools, 2017 – The Nevada County Economic Resource Council (ERC) is adding another growth industry to their focus. Executive Director Jon Gregory plans to expand the ERC’s Initiative called “Royal Welcome” to the budding Cannabis industry. “The ERC can provide assistance in clarifying Government regulations, and to help remove barriers to success in the review and permitting processes. The goal is to help businesses through the maze of bureaucracy so that they can get up and running at the earliest possible time. Our goal is to ensure that businesses gain access to the full spectrum of services available,” the initiative reads.

A growth market ready to explode

The passage of legalized recreational cannabis consumption in California and Nevada County’s ideal climate for cannabis cultivation are the major reasons as to why the ERC wants to facilitate growth of the emerging industry.

With estimates running anywhere from $5 million to $3 billion of annual revenue generated in Nevada County by small and medium-size Cannabis growers, attracting and retaining this industry could be the windfall local government agencies need.

Gregory has been mulling the best approach to the opportunity for quite some time. “Cannabis is now part of the fabric of Nevada County, there’s no denying it. My job is to maximize economic growth and expand Nevada County’s reach to attract investment and create new jobs. It might be an unconventional approach to economic development, but the numbers support this new initiative.”

The ERC already lists agriculture as one of Nevada County’s leading industries, alongside AR/VR Digital Technology, Construction, Education, Health Services, Retail & Tourism and Technology & Manufacturing. “It’s a natural expansion and one that makes great economic sense,” Gregory said.

Sensible regulations needed

With Nevada County tackling the permanent regulations governing Cannabis cultivation over the next year, the ERC hopes to provide input to further both community safety and industry growth. “Cannabis is still regarded by many as a dangerous drug. But sensible regulations and, above all, industry standards can keep our children safe and provide them with high-paying jobs in the future. Standardized testing of products needs a technology solution. Designing and manufacturing of high-tech testing equipment is a burgeoning sector poised to add significant jobs to Nevada County in the years to come. During the Gold Rush, those providing equipment to the miners created new wealth at a pace far outperforming any other industry. We can do this again.”

Next steps

The ERC is adding a special segment to their May 18th Regional Economic Development Summit at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley entitled Green Gold – Reaching Common Goals. “It’ll be a high-level presentation focusing on key county-wide economic development issues and opportunities that will become a top priority focus of NCERC (and other stakeholder groups) over the next 24 months. We have invited members of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance to present their business models and help us develop the Green Gold Plan. They will have the opportunity to share their inputs to the plan as part of the Summit, which will then be incorporated into an updated, final version of the plan.”

Spokesperson Jonathan Collier of the NC Cannabis Alliance is looking forward to the opportunity, “We recognize the environmental, and social costs that unregulated growth of this industry has inflicted on our county, and know that this can only be solved by making a legal pathway for cannabis business to join the system, becoming accountable and paying taxes like any other business in our county. Our goal is to build bridges so that responsible members of the cannabis industry can fully and legitimately participate in the county’s political and economic landscape.”

Editor’s note: Happy April Fools!

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