Nevada City Planning Commissioners approved the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Ordinance during a five hour meeting Thursday that began with a standing room-only crowd, and ended with no one in the audience.
Discussion on a potential cannabis cultivation ordinance was tabled until the following commission meeting to be held Feb. 17.
Proponents both for and against the dispensary ordinance made their cases heard during a hour and a half public comment period.
Commissioners weighed the comments of those in attendance as well as those who sent correspondence before approving the ordinance with some recommended five changes.
The first change was expanding the allowable zoning to include local business, general business, and light industrial, but excluding the historical district.
The other changes were not limiting the number of dispensaries to only one, not forcing background checks on dispensary employees (background checks on owners and operators would still be required), expansion of the applicant ranking system to 1,600 points, and child proofing packaging on cannabis products with an emphasis on edibles.
Commissioner Stuart Lauters made the motion to approve the ordinance, which passed on a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Gail Damskey was not present at the meeting after resigning two weeks ago.
“I’m pretty happy,” Jonathan Collier, Chairman of the Nevada County California Growers Association said following the meeting. “They did a good job moderating comments, overall the representation was in favor. I feel that there still needs to be a lot more education as far as to the opposition, but I think they really handled the meetings professionally. Overall I’m very satisfied.”
Not all in attendance of the meeting were in favor though, and as soon as the vote passed, began expressing their frustrations with those in the crowd who were in favor of the meeting, prompting Commission Chair Dan Thiem to ask