NEVADA CITY, Calif. April 7, 2017 – The Nevada County Board of Supervisors (BOS) will consider approving “an agreement between the County of Nevada and MIG, Inc. for
services related to the formation and facilitation of the Cannabis Community Advisory
Group” at their Tuesday meeting.

CDA Director Sean Powers will request approval for the contract with MIG and present the negotiated scope of work. A 4/5 affirmative vote is required to accept the contract and amend the CDA’s budget. If the contract is approved, a permanent Cannabis cultivation ordinance is still in a relatively distant future. The stakeholder process alone will take over a year.

The scope of service provided by MIG states they will identify and select candidates for the Community Advisory Group (CAG) with the BOS approving the CAG members. Once established, the CAG is expected to have a series of meetings, hear from presenters and finally formulate recommendations to the BOS. The majority of the advisory group’s meetings will be open to the public. MIG proposes that “meetings where the recommendations are discussed will be closed meetings to provide the opportunity for candor and creative problem solving.”

The consultant will update the BOS on progress and final recommendations are scheduled to be transmitted at the end of 2017. Then, draft language for the permanent ordinance will be prepared by county staff and the ordinance will eventually come before the BOS for several readings and finally adoption. The public will have several opportunities to comment on the proposed ordinance.

No intention to reopen the current ordinance, only minor tweaks possible

The staff report for the item reads, in part, “Staff is expecting at least a year long process with a series of meetings where an advisory group will receive and consider input and recommendations from stakeholders. With support from the Board subcommittee and staff, there is no intention to reopen the current ordinance for the 2017 cultivation season as this would be premature to the County and MIG engaging in the stakeholder process. The County will watch closely the evolving State regulations throughout the stakeholder process and make strategic adjustments as necessary for State compliance.”

Nevada County Cannabis Alliance Director Diana Gamzon stated, “The County’s willingness to watch evolving State regulations closely is encouraging, and we believe that state regulations will provide good insights into how to structure the local rules and licensing process. While we respect and look forward to participate in the stakeholder process, we are disappointed that changes to the placeholder ordinance won’t be considered at this time, especially when more growers than ever are willing to comply and are eagerly waiting to enter the statewide licensing process and participate in the legal statewide market. The placeholder ordinance has highly restrictive set-backs and square footage requirements, which makes it very difficult for responsible cultivators who want to become legitimate operators to do just that. Furthermore, what is most concerning about the placeholder ordinance is the discretionary nature of enforcement and its fine structure, which lacks the cure and correct period that all other code nuisance violations presently have. Our hope is that officials recognize the need to provide a legal due process for curing and correcting violations as we enter the planting season.”

The BOS’ afternoon session starts at 1:30 pm.