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August 30, 2014

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NLV, Henderson take a hit as county commission reallocates medical marijuana dispensary licenses

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Commissioner Steve Sisolak speaks during a meeting of the Clark County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014.

The Clark County Commission voted today to increase the number of medical marijuana dispensaries allowed in the unincorporated county from 10 to 18.

The decision drew protests from officials representing Henderson and North Las Vegas, which lose dispensaries under the arrangement.

With 45 percent of the population living in the unincorporated county, Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said it should get 45 percent of the dispensaries.

Under the distribution proposed by Sisolak and approved unanimously today, the unincorporated county would get 18 dispensary licenses, Las Vegas would get 12, Henderson five, North Las Vegas four and Mesquite one dispensary license.

That’s a change from the 2013 state law, which authorized 40 dispensaries for all of Clark County. The law said no jurisdiction in Clark County could have more than 10 dispensary licenses.

The law did contain a clause allowing the county commission to change the allocation of licenses to fit the region’s population distribution.

“This isn’t about getting as many as you can,” Sisolak said. “It’s unrealistic to expect that a city a quarter of the size of unincorporated Clark County could have the same amount (of dispensaries) for their constituents.”

Commissioners have received 81 applications for dispensary licenses in the unincorporated county.

They will consider and vote on licenses for dispensaries and other medical marijuana businesses at a June 5 public hearing.

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