During their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 17, the Colusa City Council unanimously approved a new development agreement with Green Leaf Processors Inc., which was the first cannabis-related business to begin operations in the city.
The new development agreement will span for a period of 10 years, and allow the company to continue to operate at their facility on the north end of 5th Street. It is also the mechanism through which the city is able to collect revenue from the company. Green Leaf still needs to obtain an extension on their special use permit and a regulatory permit, which the city council will consider at their meeting on Aug. 7.
Through the development agreement, Green Leaf will pay the city a 3 percent production fee, based on the gross revenue of the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and non-store front retail sales – a fee paid quarterly and based on the gross wholesale receipts for any quarter in which the business begins operation. The city will also collect an annual “facility fee,” in the amount of $15 per gross sq. ft. of the entire facility for the first 20,000 sq. ft. For the site of the Green Leaf facility, the facility fee is estimated to be about $75,000 per year.
City Manager Jesse Cain said that the 3 percent production fee was the most significant change to the new document, as there was no production fee included in the initial development agreement.
The new development agreement was necessary because of evolving state laws, and the fact that Green Leaf was previously operating as a non-profit company and was moving to a for-profit model, Cain said.
The first development agreement between the city and Green Leaf Processors was approved in a 3-2 decision in June 2017, with councilmembers Dave Womble and Dave Markss dissenting. At the time, Womble explained his no-vote by stating that he felt the location of the facility – right next to the levee – was not appropriate.
After last week’s meeting, Womble said that he felt that Green Leaf had proven itself since it began operations.
“We’ve really had no problems with them, and they’ve proven themselves in that respect,” Womble said. “They are taking care of things – and we were watching them pretty closely in the beginning because of various issues. I think everything has quelled down quite a bit… The general public quelled down and can see that they’re running well and doing what they’re supposed to be.”
Shortly after Green Leaf first began operating the facility, the city received a complaint regarding an odor issue, which was verified by city staff. Councilman Dave Markss said that the company’s response to the odor issue demonstrated to him that Green Leaf was willing to work with the city.
“Well, when they first started, they had an odor issue, and I heard about it from a lot of different people,” Markss said. “I don’t know technically what (Green Leaf) did, but those people don’t smell it anymore. They’ve been responsive to the city’s concerns about odors, and there was nobody (at the City Council meeting) from the public to complain about the operation. We gave them an option to clean up their act, and they did. As long as they are a good partner with the city, I don’t see why we wouldn’t give them a chance to continue to operate.” n