The nearly 1.5 million square-foot business park would include greenhouses for the cultivation and processing of marijuana, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, administrative offices, parking areas, water detention basin, and enclosures for storage.
The long-awaited project was pitched several years ago to replace the controversial housing development proposal known as Riverbend Estates, and gained momentum after voters legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2016.
“This project will replace the housing and bring in some good dollars to the city,” said Mike Olivas, of Winters, who initially proposed a mixed residential neighborhood on the 84 acres, which is bounded also by D Street and the Sacramento River levee.
The Colusa Planning Commission introduced the project Thursday at a public hearing to consider the initial environmental study for a mitigated negative declaration. The hearing was continued to May 8, at which time Olivas said he would give a full presentation on the cannabis facility.
The project proposes 14 to 17 “state-of-the-art” greenhouses for cultivation and processing, as well as facilities for the manufacturing, research, and development of cannabis products and a “state-of-the-art” testing lab. In addition to growing marijuana for traditional consumption, the company plans to manufacture cannabis extracts for vape pens, edible products, tinctures, and topicals applied directly on the body, such as infused lotions, salves, and sprays.
Olivas said the project will be built in phases, and would employ as many as 310 people with all skill-sets, including plant scientists and researchers.
The proposed project has been in the works for several years and has been under the California Environmental Quality Act review since last year. The project will have to obtain the appropriate permits from the City of Colusa, the state Dept. of Food and Agriculture, and the Bureau of Cannabis Control, among others, city officials said.
Although the Triple Crown Cannabis Research and Development Park would replace the controversial housing development proposal, it could likely still face the same hurdles in getting the green light to move forward.
The property, immediately south of the Sacramento River levee, is known to flood even when it’s not raining, residents of the area maintain.
“The seepage problem is very, very widespread,” said Woody Yerxa,” who gave a video presentation during the public hearing validating those claims. “To look at it you would think that someone is irrigating out here.”
Planning Commission members are still reviewing the 250-page environmental review, along with comments, but said Thursday the seepage issue must be addressed before they will sign off on the project.
The project materials can by viewed by accessing the city’s homepage at cityofcolusa.com or ceqanet.opr.ca.gov/2019029059. ■