Mad River Union
ARCATA – Arcata’s Planning Commission approved two new cannabis enterprises Aug. 13 within Cannabis Innovation Zone 2, bringing the designation close to its cap of 20 Conditional Use Permits, a number the commission anticipates will be reached by early 2020.
Evergreen Development Services will open an operation processing and manufacturing cannabis on Ericson Way, and CEP Investments will be manufacturing on West End Road. Neither business will be growing cannabis on site.
While Zone 1 has no cap on the amount of CUPs granted, the city set a cap on Zone 2 to avoid what it feared were sketchy, “speculative” businesses to the exclusion of other businesses and industries, although David Loya, director of community development, admitted at the time it had been arbitrary.
Over time, Loya said the city has seen “really thoughtful and methodical” businesses creating “not just jobs, but good jobs” in an area which hasn’t experienced anything similar since the decline of the logging industry decades ago.
“To the extent we can continue to support that without blowing the market up, that will be our recommendation,” he said.
While the owner of Evergreen didn’t have much to say during the hearing apart from being “excited” about the project, senior planner Joe Mateer was far more loquacious about CEP Investments.
“Not only is the product development that they’ve done creative and innovative, they’re interested in establishing threshold standards that we haven’t seen in the industry before, he said, asserting the project was “really nice for Arcata.”
“When you look at their business plan, they’re going to have some employees out there,” he said, addressing the parking impacts in the area.
The commission agreed more discussion would have to take place before any reconsidering of the CUP limit takes place.
Arcata strongly encourages new cannabis businesses and innovation in the Cannabis Innovation Zone.
The intent of the CIZ combining zone is to establish an area where niche manufacturing businesses can safely produce cannabis products.
Cannabis cultivation, processing, warehousing, research, and testing are allowed.