Colusa Planning Commission approves another cannabis business


Last week, the City of Colusa’s Planning Commission recommended approval a development agreement for Compass Leaf LLC, a Yolo County-based cannabis company that first pitched their project to the Colusa City Council in February.

The commission voted to recommend approval the agreement in a 3-1-1 decision, with George Parker dissenting and Brendan Farrell absent. The development agreement, assuming it is ultimately approved by the city council, will allow Compass Leaf to construct a commercial cannabis facility on 8.6 acres of property at the south end of Davison Drive, within the Colusa Industrial Park.

According to Kristy Levings, the company’s Chief Operations Officer, Compass Leaf is looking at multiple license types, including cultivation and all of the processing that goes along with it, as well as distribution.

“The site, just to give you kind of a verbal picture, will look like a series of greenhouses and metal buildings,” Levings said. “If you didn’t know what it was, the template is identical to a seed research facility – that’s what it looks like. So it fits in really beautifully with all the (agricultural) products that are already happening out at Colusa Industrial Properties.”

When asked by Commissioner Rich Selover, Levings couldn’t say exactly how many square feet of building Compass Leaf would have at full build-out.

“That is an excellent question and one I am hustling to answer,” Levings said. “This prospect has come along very quickly. We’ve worked diligently, we’re forecasting everything, and don’t have a good answer to that yet, but it’s coming.”

City Planner Bryan Stice said the property Compass Leaf is planning to develop is the majority portion of the 10.6 acres that another commercial cannabis company, Cultivation Technologies, Inc. (CTI), previously controlled. CTI was the first cannabis company to make a pitch to the city, back in Dec. 2016, and was also the first to obtain a development agreement with the city.

“Compass Leaf LLC is in contract to have that (8.6 acre portion) transferred to them,” Stice said.

According to Ed Hulbert, CEO of Colusa Industrial Properties (CIP), Cultivation Technologies, Inc. has come to the conclusion that they will no longer be cultivating cannabis at their prospective Colusa facility, and plan to do only cannabis manufacturing there. As a result, they will only need two of the 10.6 acres they had initially planned to buy there.

“We worked closely with CTI, we got them to shrink down to two acres that they actually needed, made up a deal, and we’re going to close escrow in a couple of days,” Hulbert said. “We’ll close on two acres, and that will terminate the option they have on the whole 10.6. That allows us to go under contract with Compass Leaf, which we are… for 8.6 acres… The property is entitled, (and) it’s ready for construction. If we can get through the rest of the process – and that’s what we want to see, and I think what the city wants to see – we actually get a project going.”

CTI will also need a new development agreement with the city to operate a manufacturing facility on the two-acre parcel, and Hulbert said he expected them to approach the city to initiated that process in the near future.

A public hearing for the Compass Leaf LLC. development agreement will be held at City Hall, during the Colusa City Council meeting on Oct. 2 at 6 PM. All interested parties are invited to attend and express their opinions or provide written comments before the hearing. Documents may be reviewed at, and written comments can be submitted to, the Planning Department at 425 Webster Street, until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. Oral comments can be made at the public hearing. Additional questions may be directed to Bryan Stice, Community Development Manager, at (530) 458-4740 x103.

Brian Pearson is the former Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects included reporting local government and the sports page.