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Marijuana dispensary says business going to pot amid opening delays

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L.E. Baskow

An exterior schematic of Euphoria Wellness, opening soon as a medical marijuana dispensary, during an open house Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Euphoria Wellness Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Spokesman Jim Ferrence, owner Deanne Lamb and owner Joe Lamarca of Euphoria Wellness, soon to be a medical marijuana dispensary. They hosted an open house Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. Launch slideshow »

Frustrated by months of delays, a medical marijuana dispensary is requesting internal Clark County records and threatening a lawsuit to get the store open.

Euphoria Wellness, on Jones Boulevard near Robindale Road, passed state and county inspections in April and has been ready to open since.

But the dispensary hasn’t been able to obtain marijuana because approved cultivation facilities have been slow to start and haven’t produced a viable batch.

Euphoria Wellness initially planned to buy medical marijuana from cardholders already licensed to grow their own plants until cultivation facilities were up and running.

But in a news conference today, Euphoria attorney Maggie McLetchie said the plan has been derailed by the county business licensing department’s “overly strict and absurd” interpretation of state law.

“It seems designed to do nothing but slow us down,” McLetchie said of the county’s stance. “We’ve been extremely frustrated with this process.”

Under state law, patients are allowed to have up to 12 marijuana plants but can’t possess more than 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis.

The county has refused to allow Euphoria to acquire more than 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana from any patient, citing the law.

The dispensary has argued that it should be able to acquire all 12 plants from patients — the equivalent of about 10 pounds of marijuana.

The stalemate has prevented Euphoria from acquiring any marijuana to sell and forced it to recently lay off 15 employees hired months ago in anticipation of opening.

McLetchie also accused the county of adding conditions to Euphoria’s business license that aren’t based in state law. For instance, the county is limiting the number of pipes and other marijuana ingestion devices the dispensary can display.

On Tuesday, McLetchie filed a public records request seeking internal documents she hopes will shed light on whether the county has handled Euphoria’s application appropriately.

“We’re trying to get information about why there have been so many delays and what basis there is for the various conditions that have been placed on Euphoria’s license,” she said.

Depending on the content of the records, McLetchie said, further legal action could be possible.

County spokesman Erik Pappa said Euphoria Wellness has been treated “fairly and in accordance with the law.”

“We’re going to provide all the public records they’ve sought. They’ve been treated fairly, and you’ll see that when you get the records,” Pappa said. “We expect them to follow state law, even if it’s inconvenient to do so.”

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