Thursday, June 22, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Officials in Clark County and Las Vegas approved a combined 37 dual-use permits Wednesday for medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling recreational marijuana.
Twenty-five permits for dispensaries in unincorporated Clark County and 12 such permits in the city of Las Vegas were approved by the county commission and city council during separate meetings in what industry owners called “an important milestone” toward an eight-month journey to selling recreational weed since Ballot Question 2 passed in last November’s election cycle.
It positions owners of the dispensaries to be prepared if "early start" recreational sales do in fact begin on July 1, as originally dictated by the Nevada Department of Taxation. The tax department, tasked with regulating Nevada’s recreational pot industry, is evaluating state recreational applications from all 60 currently operating medical marijuana dispensaries across Nevada.
“I’m happy that, like others in the county, we were able to pass this requirement and focus on what’s next,” said Andrew Jolley of The+Source Dispensary, whose Clark County-based location was approved for a dual-use local license Wednesday.
But a ruling made Tuesday by a judge in Carson City may put the July 1 start date in jeopardy.
Judge James Wilson ordered the Department of Taxation not to license “any person or entity other than wholesale alcohol distributors,” and negated a May 31 deadline for filing applications, ruling in favor of the 12-member Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada. That eliminated 87 of 92 applicants for marijuana distribution positions, leaving only five as of Tuesday to manage the distribution of marijuana products from cultivation and edible facilities to dispensaries.
“It’s hard to enjoy when you have this distributor issue still looming,” said Armen Yemenidjian of Essence Cannabis Dispensary, whose two locations in Clark County and Las Vegas were also approved. “But it’s historic to know that on July 1 we have the chance to be selling recreational cannabis.”