Permit for Carson City medical marijuana facility approved

The Planning Commission approved a special use permit for High Sierra Cultivation, a medical marijuana grower that had previously been granted a permit to operate at a different Carson City location Wednesday night.

The new SUP is for a 13,094 square-foot, existing building on Highway 50 East near Drako Way. High Sierra Cultivation’s initial permit was issued for a building at 5835 Sheep Drive.

Both buildings are owned by Roy Street Properties LLC, the cultivator’s owner.

The commission voted 5-1 to approve the permit with Commissioner Daniel Salerno voting no and Commissioner Victor Castro absent.

“I will vote no on this project because it violates the rules of the U.S. government and I’m required to follow the rules of the U.S. government,” Salerno said.

“In my personal life, I’ve never used it, but I’ve seen terrible things result from the use of marijuana, both medical and recreational.”

Responding to a question from Commissioner Mark Sattler, Frank Street, the grower’s manager, said security at the building would include door alarms and key swipes.

Commissioner Elyse Monroy asked Street how the business would dispose of any byproducts from its operations.

“About 90 percent of the fertilizers will stay with the plants, and any runoff, we’re looking at it going to a basin and run through a filter and the water reused,” Street said.

High Sierra Cultivation has to get building permits and needs to be up and running by May 3, according to Street, in order to meet a state deadline and retain its certificate to operate.

The business plans to grow about 16 varieties of marijuana plants over 8,000 square feet. The remainder of the building will include rooms for drying, trimming and cleaning the plants and office space.

Outside the meeting, Street said High Sierra Cultivation is in the process of acquiring about 3 acre-feet of water rights and plans to drill a new well on site. The building now has a domestic well and is on a septic system.

Street expects the operations to use about 1.5 acre feet of water annually.

The Planning Commission also approved the Carson City Arts and Culture Master Plan, an amendment to the city Master Plan.

The plan calls for the establishment of an arts and culture agency to coordinate programming, services, research and grants.

The plan received a unanimous vote and next goes to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

“I think it’s high time Carson City had a cultural master plan,” said Commissioner Paul Esswein.

In other actions, the commission unanimously approved a zoning change, from single-family to neighborhood business, for property on Emerson Drive where multifamily apartments are planned, and unanimously approved an expansion from three acres to 11 acres of the NV Energy substation at 3175 Asphalt Drive.

The Planning Commission’s next meeting agenda, according to Lee Plemel, community development director, will have a single item: plans and designs for the Lompa Ranch development off Fifth Street.

“It’s one item but it’s a big item,” said Plemel.

Plemel also announced Susan Dorr Pansky, planning manager, has resigned.


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