Clark County commissioners plan a three-day period of meetings starting on June 4 to go through 81 applications for medical marijuana dispensaries.
The meetings start at noon on June 4 and all-day meetings are planned for June 5 and June 6.
Commissioners on Tuesday discussed how the process will work. Officials plan to have 18 dispensaries in unincorporated Clark County.
The county will pick 18 applicants from among the 81 applications and send those to the state for approval. This comes against a backdrop of state officials recently encouraging local government leaders to support a large number of applicants so there is a wide pool of eligible candidates.
That’s because the state’s vetting process is different. In theory, the state Division of Public and Behavioral Health could reject an applicant that the county has approved, leaving the county with fewer dispensaries that have passed through both steps and are eligible to open for business.
Decisions won’t be made quickly. County officials won’t make decisions on the 18 dispensaries until hearing from all the applicants across the three-day period.
Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said the county’s process is transparent, with public hearings and an open decision-making process. He compared that to the state’s process, which involves still-unknown individuals making decisions in a non-public setting.
Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, however, said she was concerned about a potential scenario of the county only sending 18 dispensary applicants forward and the state only giving the green light to a portion of them.
If the state did that, Sisolak said, it would be denying the public access to medical marijuana.
Due to the volume of applications, commissioners will keep a tight schedule. Each applicant will have six minutes to make their case.
Neighbors will have two minutes each to talk. The applicants also will have three minutes to rebut any statements of opposition.
Commissioner Susan Brager said it’s crucial to wait until all the presentations are made before making final decisions on the applicants.
“I won’t vote until everything’s done,” she said.
Commissioner Larry Brown said what he’d like to hear from each applicant is what sets them apart and makes them special.
It’s unclear at this point if commissioners will make all their decisions on June 6 or need to reconvene for decisions later.
Commissioners will be looking at applicants by township, but waiting until all applicants throughout the county have been heard first. By dividing the task up that way, neighbors close to different proposals don’t have to make multiple trips to meetings.
Commissioners also will make decisions on applications for six laboratories, 42 production facilities and 64 cultivation facilities.
The county gave applicants a deadline of May 28 to request changes to ownership in response to the Gaming Control’s Board recent notice telling gaming license holders that their involvement with medical marijuana would cast Nevada gaming in a bad light.
Contact Ben Botkin at [email protected] or 702-405-9781. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1.
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