Dave Mann, CEO of the company, led the presentation given to the council.
Greenceuticals is proposing to build a $5 million, 25,000 sq. ft., all-indoor growing facility in the city, with two possible locations in mind: the first location is 1717 Highway 20 – a property that neighbors the Colusa Assembly of God Church – and the second is a city-owned property at the corner of Main Street and Bridge Street.
“Obviously, there are a few challenges in this business, because no bank lends you money for this business,” Mann told the council. “So, this is a $5 million set-up, including the land, including the product, including the scaffolding, hydroponics, HVAC, light, and all of that. That will cost us $5 million, and the people who are behind this are prepared to bring that to the table, cash. It is a lot of money, but this is why we are all here: we are prepared to bring this to the table.”
Mann said the business would immediately create 15 jobs of varying pay-scales, and that Greenceutical was projecting $3 million in profits in the first year of operation.
“We expect to share that with this community,” Mann said. He also said that he wanted to work with the community, and not against it, to work toward something that “would be right for all of us” in terms of the project.
“The goal for us is to come to this community and put our dollars to work right away,” Mann said. “We’re here if you want us here.”
Mann said that his company brings experience in the commercial cannabis industry. Two of the principals of Greenceuticals, Mann and Michael Yong, are partners in a Washington state-based company called Simply Growz, a cannabis growing operation and hydroponics supply business in North Bonneville, WA, which has been around for about two years. Mann provided the city council with reference letters from Pat Albaugh, executive director of Port of Skamania County, and Don Stevens, the mayor of North Bonneville.
During public comment, Ken Edwards, the pastor at the Colusa Assembly of God and a former Williams City Councilman, said that the location near his church was unacceptable.
“It recently has come to my attention that an offer has been made on some property that is directly to the north of us, adjoining our property,” Edwards said. “I’ve been informed of the intention to put in a facility to grow and process marijuana.”
Edwards said that his church, with a congregation of about 100 people, has been located there for 27 years. He has been a pastor there for about a year and a half. Edwards said that the church strives to be an active and positive force in the community, and listed off a number of community service activities they had undertaken.
“We’re not negative people,” Edwards said. “We’re not against everything, although I am opposed to these facilities in this present location. I recently watched at least three marijuana facilities come into our community, some rather large operations. I haven’t been at any city council meetings. I haven’t brought anyone to protest. We’re not negative people – these are decisions that you guys are elected to make…I know this is coming, that this is inevitable, and that there is maybe too much at stake for cities, and recent legislation has opened the door. But that’s why I’m here – I’m not a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). In fact, I wouldn’t mind it if you opened it up for apartments all the way around the church – halfway houses, whatever – we welcome that. But to place this facility next to our church is not acceptable to us, and would be a slap in the face… I respectfully ask that this council reject any attempt to place this facility next door to us.”
Prior to the presentation, Marilyn Acree, a former Colusa City Councilwoman, expressed concerns about closed-session real estate negotiations for the city-owned property on Main Street, which were agendized and discussed prior to last week’s meeting. Acree questioned whether the city council violated the Brown Act.
“I don’t know that the discussion about selling the property – did that ever come before council in an open session, so that there was transparency to the community?” Acree asked. “When I saw that, clearly, you’re at a point now where the discussion of the sale is being held. I never read or saw anything that there was direction from council to move forward with that discussion. I understand the terms of the sale and negotiations would be private. Maybe I’m off base.”
Colusa City Attorney Ryan Jones said that at this point, the closed session discussion was a preliminary discussion about the sale and price of the property.
“For it to move forward, you’d absolutely have to have an open session discussion from the council,” Jones said. “That’s why we reported out that there was no action, because the council could not have been in a position to agree to any kind of offer at that point. If they want to move forward with that purchase, there will be a follow up in open session to that.”