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City grants permit for cannabis expansion

Colusa’s first cannabis nursery is now looking to expand operations to include full marijana cultivation.

The Colusa City Council voted 4-1, on Sept. 15, to grant Golden Roots Nursery a special use permit that will allow the company to grow cannabis for consumption.

Golden Roots Nursery, a Yuba City-based tissue culture clothing business, has been limited under its current Developer Agreement with the city to only non-flowering cultivation of cannabis. since the greenhouse was first approved in 2017 at Colusa Industrial Properties.

Cannabis manufacturing is the third and final phase of Golden Roots’ local project that company owner, Ranveer Tumber, proposed when he first considered Colusa as his first venture into the cannabis market. Golden Roots has long offered clonal rootstock for walnuts, almonds, and pistachios.

The first phase of the cannabis operation concentrated on tissue cloning in rooting rooms, inside modular buildings, followed by the construction of a hybrid greenhouse, where larger vegetative plants, known as teens, were grown.

Colusa City Manager, Jesse Cain, said the company’s request for the new special permit would allow Golden Roots to seek a grower’s license from the state in order to cultivate marijuana to the flowering “bud” stage, which then could be marketed for consumption.

“The state has about 23 or 24 different types of licenses, depending on what you want to do, whether its processing, cultivation, transportation, distribution…,” Cain said. “Currently, (Tumber’s) specialty permit is strictly just for nursery.”

Golden Roots is fully developed at its current location with a hard plexiglass type greenhouse, and the special use permit would not require any new building modifications, which was something City Councilman Greg Ponciano said could set a precedent for the local cannabis industry, which will likely flourish as a result of the annexation of CIP.

Ponciano, who voted against the Golden Roots’ permit until the city could review the original site plans, said all Colusa’s cannabis manufacturing companies have been required to construct or use hard structure buildings, with specific measures in place to control odors.

“Up until this point, we have been pretty consistent with our grow operations, and have not gone the route with hoop houses or greenhouses,” Ponciano said. “We’ve been pretty staunch on hard buildings, such as what we have on Main Street.”

Ponciano said even cannabis companies that have hard structures still emit some odor that the city constantly has to deal with.

City Council members Tom Reische, Brent Nobles, Dave Markss, and Mayor Josh Hill, however, were excited to see Tumber implement what would be Colusa’s first cannabis manufacturing company to use a deodorizing fogger to control the strong odor that only occurs when cannabis begins to flower when higher temperatures are reached.

“I visited some greenhouse out in Salinas, and they have a misting system on the fans, and use high pressure 1200 psi misters, so that when your exhaust fans turns on, it mixes in a deodorizing product that actually absorbs the oder, so you can’t smell pretty much anything,” Tumber said.

The City Council approved the permit for Golden Roots to grow cannabis to the flowering stage, once Tumber obtained a license from the state, knowing that violating odor requirements could cause the city to reverse their decision and withdraw the permit.

“The odor is going to be the biggest concern, by far,” Reische said. “If (Tumber) can’t control it, and we can’t stand it, we can shut down the flowering stage, even though we’ve agreed at this point in time.”

In addition to the deodorizers, Tumber said there were other options that he would also consider to control odor, such as not flowering the entire building at the same time.

The company has already met the security and other requirements imposed for cannabis manufacturing, officials said.

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