Las Vegas Sun

October 15, 2019

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Commissioners mixed over recommendations on recreational marijuana

Clark County commissioners had mixed reactions to an advisory panel’s recommendations today for overseeing recreational marijuana businesses.

The recommendations from the Clark County Green Ribbon Marijuana Advisory Panel are intended to help the county regulate the industry once a statewide framework is hammered out by the state Legislature and the Department of Taxation. They focus on preserving Nevada’s medical marijuana program and ensuring patients continue seeking state-issued medical cards instead of just buying recreational marijuana.

“We don’t want patients and their medical needs to get lost in the rollout of the recreational program,” said Nevada Dispensary Association President Andrew Jolley, who owns The+Source dispensaries in Las Vegas and Henderson.

Recommendations include selling medical marijuana at a lower price than recreational marijuana, banning the delivery of marijuana on the Strip and amnesty boxes to dispose of marijuana at McCarran International Airport, where the drug remains banned under federal law.

Commissioner Susan Brager said she liked the idea of lower pricing for medical marijuana but criticized a proposal to allow recreational marijuana smoking lounges. “I’m just not ready for that yet,” she said.

Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick said the recommendations don’t do enough to address potential “bad actors” in the industry. She called for recommendations for disciplining dispensary owners and employees who violate regulations.

“I think we all have the best intentions in mind, but we need to account for those who don’t,” Kirkpatrick said.

The panel — 12 members from the marijuana, gaming, tourism and resort industries — said recreational marijuana in Nevada is “an ongoing conversation” and requested it continue to meet through at least September.

Panelist Tony Alamo of the Nevada Gaming Commission and Jacqueline Holloway, the county’s director of business licensing, also suggested establishing subcommittees to tackle what they called “widespread and complex issues” relating to marijuana.