Nevada City — The Community Advisory Group, or CAG, will meet for a second time at 2 pm Tuesday at the Foothills Event Center.
The CAG, as it is now known, is a group of 16 community members who will meet for the next several months to draft recommendations for a permanent cannabis cultivation ordinance in Nevada County.
On the agenda are several important items that could potentially outline how regulations for cannabis activities in the county look like: A review of state cannabis regulations, a review of how other counties are addressing cannabis, and a review and discussion of potential allowable cannabis-related activities for Nevada County.
“It’s more important than ever to educate the panel on how other counties have successfully worked with community stakeholders to come up with policy that works for everyone,” said Diana Gamzon, director of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance. “As an organization, we have spent hours compiling this information and we hope it can serve as a blueprint for our CAG to build on.”
Gamzon said the cannabis community’s involvement will be key to efficiently create a pathway to regulation and hopes that the public will provide their input during the public comment section of the meeting, or submit them to CAGmeetingcomments@migcom.com
Mendocino County, for example, created a timeline that allows farmers a grace period to come into compliance with its new ordinance. The county is considering allowing several other license types — manufacturing, processing, distribution and testing labs — in specific land use zones. Officials there recently committed to hiring SICPA, a tracking technology firm, for its new track and trace program. While the new regulations are considered and implemented, Mendocino officials also launched a Cannabis Information Hotline, 1-844-421-WEED, to answer questions about how to apply for permits, where to pay taxes and how to navigate the building permit process.
Sonoma County cannabis farmers and activists have created excellent relationships with county staff to draft an ordinance that takes into consideration the needs of small-batch, craft farmers there. The county created an ombudsman position to help develop a commercial cannabis industry in Sonoma.
Santa Cruz County also created an ombudsman position, along with a registration form that allows the county to establish data on past, current and future cannabis cultivation activity, and establish a pool of registrants that will be authorized to apply for a permit once the county votes in its final cultivation ordinance.
Ultimately, state regulations can provide a baseline for what a tiered licensing structure can look like, and it will allow the creation of an ordinance that is in alignment with current cannabis grow operations here, Gamzon said.
“It’s very exciting to look to our neighbors and see how far they have come, and to actually have a vision for what a responsible cannabis industry can look like,” Gamzon said. “We have so much to learn from other counties who have gone through this process. We have a unique opportunity in Nevada County to create an ordinance that reflects the culture and values of our county while solving the problems from an unregulated industry.”
For more information about the CAG, please visit the county’s Cannabis Conversation page: https://www.mynevadacounty.com/nc/cda/Pages/CannabisConversationCalendar.aspx
What: 2nd CAG Meeting
When: Tuesday, June 13 at 2 – 5 pm
Where: Foothills Event Center, Grass Valley