Temporary medical commercial cannabis permit program on BOS agenda

NEVADA CITY, Calif May 17, 2018 – The Nevada County Board of Supervisors (BOS) will discuss and vote on temporary medical commercial cannabis permits at their May 22nd meeting. Scheduled for 11:00 am, the agenda item will update the current cannabis cultivation ordinance.

The move comes after several special BOS meetings devoted to hashing out the details of a permanent cultivation ordinance, subject to a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) study. The environmental impact study will take several months to complete now that staff has direction from the BOS regarding maximum plant counts, zoning considerations and desired enforcement mechanisms. Meanwhile, this year’s growing season is starting up and temporary permits are needed for cultivators applying for state permits.

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The proposed urgency ordinance, if adopted by a 4/5ths vote of the BOS, will allow for temporary permits valid through December 31, 2018. Permit fees will start at $542.49 minimum.

After an application is submitted, the project review will be performed by the Community Development Agency (CDA) by a single point of contact within the agency.  Once permits are approved for issuance, a site inspection is required to be completed verifying all permit requirements for the temporary permit to become valid, according to the staff report.

The proposed tentative start date to submit applications is June 20, 2018. Appointments are required to submit complete applications as well as to schedule compliance inspections. Appointments will be made on a first come, first serve basis.

According to the staff memo supporting the urgency ordinance, “Staff proposed limiting the number of temporary permits to be issued to 100. The logistics of creating a lottery or other system for fairly allocating these permits has been challenging. Staff believes it is unlikely that this cap will be reached within the short lifespan of this program and is therefore proposing to remove this cap.

All cultivation is required to comply with grow area size limitations, setbacks and all other requirements in the County’s current (interim) cannabis cultivation ordinance. Allowed cultivation areas and setbacks under the current ordinance depend on parcel size, but generally range from 6 plants or 300 sf on parcels between 2 and 5 acres to 25 plants or 1,000 sf on parcels greater than 20 acres, with setbacks ranging from 100 to 300 feet.”

The full text of the proposed urgency ordinance can be downloaded here as a pdf file.