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August 21, 2014

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Clark County:

Commission to examine proposed rules for marijuana shops

New proposed zoning regulations for medical marijuana businesses will be one of the most scrutinized items in months to come before Clark County commissioners when they meet this week. Commissioners will discuss the draft regulations during the zoning commission meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday and will also hold a regular commission meeting at 9:05 a.m. Tuesday. Both will be in the commission chambers at the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway.

Local rules for marijuana industry

While the state’s Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for crafting the majority of the regulations that will govern the nascent medical marijuana industry, local governments will have some say on where dispensaries and other businesses are located within their jurisdictions.

Clark County is the first local government in Southern Nevada to release a set of proposed zoning regulations. Their rules, which cover unincorporated parts of the county, could become a model for other cities, which are still debating whether to allow medical marijuana-related businesses in their boundaries.

The rules allow dispensaries and independent testing labs that verify the quality of the marijuana to locate within commercial zoning districts, meaning they can set up shop anywhere you would find a regular retail business. Cultivation facilities — where the crop is grown — and production facilities — where marijuana-infused goods are made — will be limited to areas zoned for manufacturing and industrial uses.

All types of medical marijuana establishments will be subject to several other local restrictions, including a separation requirement from schools and churches, and limits on signage advertising the business.

Ultimately, commissioners will have the final say on who receives the special-use permits needed to operate a medical marijuana business.

On Wednesday, commissioners will take a first look at the proposed rules, and if they’re supportive, a formal vote could take place in late March or early April.

Update on puppies saved from fire

With the owners of the Prince and Princess Pet Shops behind bars facing charges for setting fire to their store, the 27 puppies saved from the blaze could be headed for adoption.

Clark County commissioners are expected to hear an update Tuesday on the status of the dogs, which were impounded by county animal control and have been cared for by the Animal Foundation since the Jan. 27 fire.

The owners of the pet shop were served with a notice Thursday afternoon alerting them they had 72 hours to claim ownership of the dogs. If they don’t, the dogs will be put up for adoption.

Fighting fires in North Las Vegas

Cuts to the North Las Vegas fire department in 2012 led to five units being shut down and other major changes in how it deploys its crews.

The strategy has saved the city some money, but it has also led to an added burden on the Clark County Fire Department, which has been responding to more fires in North Las Vegas’ jurisdiction since the changes were made.

On Tuesday, Clark County Fire Chief Bertral Washington will provide commissioners with an annual update on the service-sharing agreement with North Las Vegas and how it’s affecting the county’s fire department.

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