Las Vegas Sun

November 21, 2017

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Green Ribbon Panel to examine marijuana rules for Clark County

The Clark County Commission is assembling a “Green Ribbon Panel” to make recommendations regarding zoning and businesses licensing of the recreational marijuana industry.

At its regular board meeting Tuesday, commissioners settled on a 12-member panel consisting of members from the marijuana industry, the gaming and retail industries, and professional associations related to recreational and medical marijuana.

The application process for joining the panel is already open, with submissions due on Feb. 28 for consideration at the commissioner’s March 7 meeting. Applications can be found on the Clark County website.

Chairman Steve Sisolak proposed the creation of the panel, which he found necessary after a stakeholder meeting held earlier this month raised more questions and concerns than answers. As an example, he noted that some residents were OK with medical marijuana facilities in their neighborhoods but opposed recreational retail shops. Other questions surround whether marijuana would be available in a hookah-style lounge setting and if events like wine tastings would be held for styles of the drug.

“There are so many questions,” Sisolak said. “This group can get together to hear all of these questions and they could come forward to us with recommendations that we could adopt moving forward in terms of regulating the industry. It’s going to take some time.”

Nevadans voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over in November. The law went into effect at the beginning of 2017, but state regulators are still in the process of crafting regulations.

“We will follow whatever the state guidelines are, but we have to get out ahead of it,” said Nancy Amundsen, director of comprehensive planning for Clark County. “When the state Department of Taxation comes forth with their regulations, they’re going to start accepting applications and Clark County has to determine where they want these.”

Amundson added that recreational marijuana is a “different animal” than medical marijuana.

In addition to the members of the Green Ribbon Panel, the commissioners will invite a number of agencies and departments to participate and provide administrative or policy guidance. Those include Metro Police, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas, the Clark County School District and Department of Air Quality.

Meetings will be held in accordance with open meeting laws, so the public will be welcome to comment.

Membership of the Green Ribbon Panel will represent:

* Gaming Control Board/Commission

* Nevada Resort Association

* A resort hotel or casino

* A “local interest” hotel or casino

* A dispensary establishment

* A vertically integrated cultivation establishment

* A stand-alone cultivation establishment

* A laboratory testing establishment

* A production establishment

* A marijuana patient advocate

* A marijuana industry association

* Nevada Retail Association

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