A Yolo County-based cannabis company is the latest to express interest in coming to the City of Colusa, and pitched their project to the city council at their regular meeting on Feb. 6.
The company, Compass Leaf – which has been in operation for about a year in Yolo County – is proposing to develop a vertically integrated cannabis operation in Colusa, encompassing every cannabis activity from seed to sale.
Among the three Compass Leaf representatives on hand for the presentation was Kristy Levings, a Woodland native, who gave a broad overview of the project. In terms of jobs, Levings – the company’s Chief Operations Officer – said that Compass Leaf will focus on slow, controlled growth, and would initially create 20 to 30 “career positions.” She added the company would layer hourly and salary positions over that “throughout the entire gamut of our enterprise.” In addition to those jobs, she said the company would also need to hire seasonal contractors.
“How many that looks like, I couldn’t honestly tell you,” Levings said. “But I do think that we’re probably hit the hundred mark – somewhere in there between the mix of all positions.”
The company’s primary market revenue streams would come from the sale of their products to existing dispensaries and other existing distribution services, as well as a “discreet home delivery” service. Unless the local regulations on cannabis – which ban dispensaries – change, the company would not deliver in the county or the cities of Williams and Colusa. Compass Leaf’s brass also anticipates that it will be able to generate ancillary revenue by offering services to other licensed cultivators.
“Because we’re vertically integrated, and because we have so many operations that we’re doing internally, it’s fairly easy for us to offer additional services to other cultivators,” Levings said. “It’s just as easy for us to put somebody else’s stuff on our trucks that are already going somewhere. It’s just as easy for us to sell our excess nursery stock, because we’re already doing stuff for ourselves.”
Levings said that the business-friendly environment in Colusa, as well as its agricultural roots, were among the reasons Compass Leaf was drawn to the city. While Leving said that Compass Leaf had yet to nail down a potential location for their project, they were in the process of exploring a number of options that might fit their requirements.
“To accomplish our vertically integrated goal, we need to have a couple of different buildings,” Levings said. “We need a building dedicated to processing, one dedicated to manufacturing and administration, and another one dedicated to our internal testing and quality control. In addition to that, our site will encompass probably about 24 greenhouses, constructed over three phases… We are interested in a number of parcels, and our eyes are wide open and we’re open to looking at parcels that work for our enterprise and work best for the city.”
Jerome Love, Compass Leaf’s Chief of Marketing & Technology, detailed the multitude of products that Compass Leaf would be offering, of which there are two primary categories – processed product and manufactured products. He also gave an overview of the company’s product and customer management technology.
Compass Leaf CEO Kyu Kim explained the various phases that the company plans to implement as it works toward full build-out. Phase 1 will include building and implementing necessary infrastructure, utilities, security, transportation assets, and “whatever we need to get the job done.”
Kim said that Phase 2 would include the construction of greenhouses, as well as primary buildings for drying and processing, manufacturing, office space, and testing facilities. Phase 3 will include the construction of five additional greenhouses and the implementation of a solar program to meet state regulations regarding renewable energy. Phase 4 would potentially consist of the construction of the remainder of the greenhouses, if the market is there.
“Once we get to Phase 4, we’re going to kind of step back and take a look at where we’re at,” Kim said. “We might add more greenhouses, or maybe scale back a little bit once we kind of check out at the market at that point.”
City Manager Jesse Cain said he couldn’t put a timeline on when the project would come back before the council for approval. Until Compass Leaf nails down a site for their project, Cain said, they won’t be able to move forward with development agreement – which are site-specific. At the point that they find a site suitable for the project, they would have to come before the Colusa Planning Commission, and later the city council for approval of a development agreement.■