Las Vegas council to debate medical marijuana dispensaries in city limits


Geert Kuipers/Flickr.

Update: Patients will soon be able to access medicine at dispensaries in the city of Las Vegas as well as in unincorporated parts of Clark County, Nevada.
The Clark County Board of Commissioners last night approved licensing rules and say they could begin accepting applications for dispensaries by mid-April. Clark County commission Chairman Steve Sisolak called the move “monumental”.

“We tried to get everything right but I think that time is going to tell what we got right and what we got wrong, what adjustments and tweaks are going to have to be made in the future,” he added.
In fact, it seems most all of the commissioners were okay with passing the measures. The only objection came from two members who felt the rules were too restrictive – including a regulation requiring commercial grows be at least 660 feet from residential homes. Another requires dispensaries in Clark County to only purchase their herb from Clark County grow facilities unless there is a shortage. The move could restrict the trading of strains specific to patient needs, one commissioner argued.
In Las Vegas, city council voted to allow the shops and said they would revisit zoning and regulations by the start of the summer. The measure there passed council on a 5 to 2 vote. Some councilmember’s said they came around on the measure after visiting dispensaries out of state and seeing the patient population wasn’t just a bunch of 20-year-olds masquerading as patients.
“In the beginning I had a completely different interpretation and level of understanding as to what we’re dealing with here,” councilwoman Ricki Barlow told the Las Vegas Sun.. “I have a newfound respect for how, in fact, this actually has helped a lot of patients … I had a stereotype of who was going to be inside of the facilities, but I was gravely wrong.”
The city has put a moratorium on new applications for medical marijuana dispensaries until they have regulations in place.
Original story, 3/19/2014: Some go to Las Vegas for the shows, others for the gambling. But some don’t want any of that. Instead, they want to come to Las Vegas for medical cannabis. But that can’t happen just yet, as the city has held a six-month moratorium on the businesses ever since the legislature crafted legislation allowing the shops.
That moratorium is up, however, and now council has to decide what to do.
If the moratorium is indeed over, the council will have to begin writing zoning regulations and other laws to help guide the industry according to the Las Vegas Sun. Council could also decide to extend the moratorium another six months, or ban the dispensaries outright – as was the case in nearby Boulder City.