Grass Valley officials look ahead at pot dispensary discussion

Grass Valley plans to revisit the idea of allowing cannabis dispensaries, officials said, but the city wants to first wait and see how the industry fares under the state’s new regulations, and how the community responds to Nevada City’s recently-approved medical dispensary.

City Council members discussed the topic in 2016, but ultimately decided to postpone the conversation until after the November 2016 statewide vote to legalize recreational marijuana use.

From there, the topic was put on the back burner, Grass Valley Mayor Howard Levine said Wednesday.

“We don’t have to be the first with it,” he said. “There are so many other things that seem to be important to our community.”

“We don’t have to be the first with it,” he said. “There are so many other things that seem to be important to our community.”

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Nevada City’s decision to allow a medical cannabis dispensary, Levine said, “takes the angst out” of the conversation.

Because patients who need access to medical cannabis will be able to soon purchase it in western Nevada County, he said, Grass Valley has more time to make a decision that will best serve the community.

He doesn’t expect the city will take action too soon, but said the topic could come up later this year.

City Council member Lisa Swarthout said the resignation of Grass Valley’s former city manager in February 2017, the community’s concern about crime and homelessness, and other issues took precedent over the dispensary discussion.

Now, she said, “I want to see what happens over in Nevada City.”

Elevation 2477′, selected by the Nevada City Council in November as the first medical cannabis dispensary in western Nevada County, is set to open this year on Searls Avenue in Nevada City.

Medical or recreational?

A committee formed in 2016 to spearhead the dispensary discussion, which included Levine and Council Member Jan Arbuckle, was focused on whether to allow a medical dispensary in Grass Valley.

But Levine said with under the state’s new regulations, that conversation could now include the possibility of a recreational dispensary.

“We are interested to see the experience from other communities and other states and start the process over,” he said.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email or call 530-477-4231.

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