Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

With two 30-2 votes, the Del Norte County Planning Commission has approved two use permits for the first legal cannabis businesses since the Board of Supervisors adopted new cannabis retail and manufacturing ordinances last November.

Applicant Robert Derego was granted two permits for cannabis stores on Feb. 6, one to sell recreational cannabis and the other for medical cannabis retail.

The first is the familiar Del Norte Patients Together, 723 Elk Valley Road, and the other will be called Sticky Grove, to be located at 1070 U.S. 101, in Crescent City, and will share a parking lot with Mystic Bean Cafe.

Based on drawings in the staff report, a sign which currently reads Wonder Stump will be repainted to read “Sticky Grove” and will keep the redwoods and sunset background.

Derego had managed Del Norte Patients Together for several years, and was a member of the Supervisors’ Cannabis working Group, which was assembled to recommend suitable ordinances regulating the cultivation, manufacturing and retail sales of cannabis.

According to staff reports, Del Norte Patients Together was shuttered for some time by local regulations.

“The building was previously home to a patients collective dispensary and later, a state-licensed cannabis dispensary unable to relicense, due to the county’s ban on commercial cannabis activity in 2017,” the report states.

Ordinances, check

For each of the use permits, a long list of conditions must be met.

Identification will be checked at a dedicated “age check window,” and no one under 21 is to be allowed inside.

Other requirements include the businesses cannot grow or manufacture cannabis products on site, shall secure a license from the state, remit all taxes in a timely manner, obtain a surety bond for $15,000, provide adequate parking, comply with fire codes and maintain clear records documenting that all cannabis products were obtained through permitted California cannabis operations. Business hours are to be between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

According to staff reports, a high resolution surveillance system with off-site monitoring and battery backup has been installed at the location.

Other language indemnifies the county and its agencies from legal expenses arising from legal challenges to the issuance of the permit.

“The applicant has provided a map of schools and youth centers in the area demonstrating that the proposed shop would be over 1,000 feet away, as required,” staff noted in their report.

According to staff reports, approval of the county permit serves as a coastal permit and no further action is required unless an appeal is filed.

Commissioners Johnny Jacobs and Commission Chairman Ralph Dickey cast the dissenting votes on the applications.

Derego could not be reached for comment.