Ryan Coulter and Travis Neumann talk to city
The Taft City Council is almost certain to pass ordinances banning retails sales of cannabis products in the city.
But there has been no definitive indications on which way the council is going to decide on industrial cannabis production
One pair of local entrepreneurs is looking at Taft as a possible location to build a plant that would grow marijuana plants and extract the concentrated oil for wholesale.
Ryan Coulter and Travis Neumann publicly announced their idea Tuesday.
Coulter stood up and spoke to about 25 people at a city-sponsored forum to discuss legalized marijuana and what steps the city should take to regulate it.
Coulter and Neumann are planning to build a 10,000 square foot marijuana cultivation and processing facility to sell concentrated oil on a wholesale basis
Coulter says he is not a marijuana user, nor an advocate.
"But I am a capitalist," he said.
Neumann was at the meeting with Coulter but Coulter did all the talking.
He said they have already engaged "one of the top consultants" in the cannabis industry to advise them and help with a business plan.
"We have done everything in our power to make this thing work," he said.
He said a growing and manufacturing facility like the one he and Neumann are proposing could give the city more revenues.
City staff and the City Council are currently discussing ordinances to regulate or probably ban retail sales in the city, and to regulate and establish fees for permitting growing and manufacturing plants.
Coulter pointed out that the city is going to have higher costs for police and city staff with the new marijuana laws, and fees from a plant like the one being proposed.
"To make up for what we are going to lose for regulating this what are we going to do?" he asked
His proposal is a for a very secure, enclosed growing and manufacturing facility,
He said the plant will be able to use "gray water" (recycled wastewater) even using inject carbon dioxide into a controlled atmosphere to speed plant growth.
It will be limited to the production of the concentrated oil from the cannabis plant.
"We be making oils and concentrates but it would not be in the scope of our business to make foods."
Whether the city embraces the marijuana industry or not, it is coming, Coulter said.
"We have to face the harsh reality that it is going to be right outside our city. We might as well be prepared to get a little bit of the dollars that's coming from that," he said.
he quoted a folk song by Bob Dylan from the 1960s
"A wise man once said 'You'd better start swimming or you sink like a stone...'' said Coulter, who with Taylor Unruh founded the musical group Truxton Mile.
Coulter said he had a meeting planned with City Manager Craig Jones on Wednesday to discuss the business plan.