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May 24, 2015

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Marijuana dispensary bill must clear $2 million hurdle

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Andrew Doughman

Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore inspects the product and learns about the different uses for and varieties of marijuana during a trip to a dispensary in Arizona on Friday, March 22, 2013.

CARSON CITY — State Sen. Tick Segerblom says he’s optimistic Gov. Brian Sandoval will sign his medical marijuana dispensary bill, even though it could cost Nevada some $2 million.

Segerblom questioned why it would cost the state Department of Taxation $2 million to collect the sales tax and other fees from more than 50 dispensaries the bill would authorize around the state.

Sandoval said last week the bill might cost the state money and that the issue was being researched.

Segerblom said the Department of Taxation should have raised this issue while the bill was being processed in the Legislature. It imposes a 2 percent excise tax on the sale of medical marijuana.

Sandoval said Monday he had not yet received an answer from the Department of Taxation.

The bill requires that a person applying for a license for a dispensary must have $250,000 in liquid assets, pay a $5,000 fee for submitting an application and $30,000 for an initial license. There would be a $5,000 annual renewal fee.

Segerblom’s Judiciary Committee visited Arizona to see how that state runs its medical marijuana program. Arizona generated more than $7.9 million in the first 14 months of permitting dispensaries.

Nevada’s bill would allow up to 40 dispensaries in Clark County, 10 in Washoe County, two in Carson City and one each in the remaining rural counties.

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