Cannabis moratorium could be coming to Nevada

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The moratorium would cover only certain marijuana manufacturers

If local police have their way, Nevada City could soon implement a moratorium on cannabis manufacturing. The Nevada City Police Department has approached the city council, requesting the moratorium over public safety concerns. The debate centers on those cannabis manufacturers that use volatile extraction methods in their facilities.

Butane gas, which is used by some facilities, has been tied to a handful of explosions in Nevada County. The area has allowed volatile extraction methods because it didn’t have a policy in place, such as that now in California, when the cannabis permit process began. In California, manufacturers are placed into one of two categories based on their extraction techniques.

Nevada City Manager Catrina Olson is supportive of the moratorium, but hasn’t responded to the police department’s request. She states, “Further research and education revealed the dangers of the volatile extraction method,” adding that the moratorium “may be in the best interest of the city.”

There are only two companies in Nevada City that would fall under the “volatile license” category – Sky Farms and The Searls Group. Neither has yet to receive its permit, but are currently involved in the process. Amy Wolfson, Nevada City Planner, states, “We are not asking to revoke their permits.”

Opponents believe that a moratorium is an exaggerated response to an issue that is easy to control. The director of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, Diana Gamzon, asserts that there are a number of businesses in existence today that use volatile processes, citing as examples gas stations, dry cleaners and manufacturers of essential oils.

The founder of Floracy, Herry Bennett, echoed the sentiment, stating to city council members, “You’ve all used products this year extracted with a volatile process, I’m sure. It’s a common method.”

The city council will rule on the subject once it has completed a detailed investigation.