Raven Sharp was one of nearly 100 people who attended a meeting Tuesday required of people interested in opening a cannabis business in the city. He, like many in attendance, has experience in the industry.
Sharp opened Natural Remedies Consulting Holistic Health Services Clinic in unincorporated north Modesto nine months ago with the intent to offer a wider range of medical marijuana products, not just the smokable form.
NRC Holistic Health Services is one of about 20 dispensaries operating in the county. Current county code prohibits dispensaries; however, the law is not being enforced as the county, along with its nine cities, decides how to address the new voter-approved California law that allows the recreational use and commercial trade of marijuana.
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act gives local municipalities the authority to regulate and tax the commercial trade.
Oakdale is the county’s first city to accept proposals for all cannabis businesses allowed under the law – medical or recreational marijuana – from testing and distribution to cultivation and dispensaries. There is no guarantee, however, that the city will approve any of the applications and it could ultimately ban cannabis businesses in the city, like it did with medical marijuana businesses prior to the passage of the new law. City manager Bryan Whitemyer said the city’s request for proposals is an “information gathering process.”
Still, many people are willing to take that gamble and pay the nonrefundable $5,000 application fee.
Sharp said there is a lot of risk and uncertainty in the industry – still illegal under federal law as well – and that the fee is just one of those risks.
“As a business you should probably have that money to lose,” Sharp said. “If you don’t have that money to lose, you probably don’t