Las Vegas Sun

November 23, 2017

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Henderson dispensaries get green light to start selling recreational pot

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L.E. Baskow

Various marijuana strains stored at The Source dispensary facility newly opened in Henderson, numerous edible marijuana products are also available there too on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.

Marijuana shoppers looking to buy the plant for recreational use will now be able to do so in Henderson.

Three and a half months after recreational marijuana sales began across Nevada, the Henderson City Council on Tuesday approved applications for its five dispensaries to join the flourishing industry. Starting as early as 8 a.m. Friday, Henderson dispensaries will be able to sell recreational marijuana in addition to medical marijuana.

“The regulations are now in place,” said Henderson Mayor Debra March.

The Dispensaries

After waiting over three months since other dispensaries across Nevada began selling pot for recreational use on July 1, Henderson’s five licensed marijuana dispensaries will also begin selling recreational pot as early as Friday, Oct. 20.

Here are the five dispensaries expanding to recreational weed:

• The+Source — 9480 S Eastern Ave #185 — 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

• Essence Cannabis Dispensary — 4300 E Sunset Rd, Ste A3 — 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Nevada Medical Marijuana — 3195 St. Rose Pkwy #212 — 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Jenny’s Dispensary — 10420 S Eastern Ave #100 — 12 p.m to 8 p.m.

• The Dispensary — 50 N Gibson Rd #170 — 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The approval of city business licenses and conditional use permits for Henderson’s five dispensaries — The+Source, Essence Cannabis Dispensary, Nevada Medical Marijuana, Jenny’s Dispensary and The Dispensary — is the essentially the final step in a months-long process that delayed implementation of the voter-approved Ballot Question 2, passed in last November’s election. Applications for all but one dispensary were approved by a vote of 4-1 on Tuesday, with only Councilman John Marz voting against them.

Nevada legalized up to one ounce of marijuana flower, or one-eighth ounce of the THC equivalent of concentrates, for recreational use and possession on Jan. 1 following the passage of last November’s Ballot Question 2. Recreational sales of the plant began on July 1 after temporary regulations from the Nevada Department of Taxation and Nevada Legislature were approved earlier this year.

But the Henderson City Council on Feb. 7 voted for a six-month moratorium that would have expired in August, after originally considering a yearlong moratorium as early as January. On Aug. 8, the city council voted to expand the moratorium to Sep. 5 before it was finally quashed with a 3-2 council vote last month. Medical marijuana was not banned in the moratorium.

Now, only a final approval for a state license and a city of Henderson inspection of the marijuana facilities lie in the dispensaries’ way of opening, said Andrew Jolley, president of the Nevada Dispensary Association.

Jolley, who also owns The+Source dispensary, expects the entire process to be completed by Thursday for some dispensaries, but added that others could take until next week to open their doors for recreational sales.

“It could vary slightly by company, by a day or two,” he said.

Jolley and other Henderson dispensary owners expressed “total relief” after Tuesday’s votes, adding that despite the city’s early resistance, officials have been “all aboard” in helping dispensary owners move forward with recreational pot since last month’s vote to eliminate the recreational pot moratorium.

“We’re just excited to get the ball rolling,” said Armen Yemenidjian, owner of Essence Cannabis Dispensary. “And we’re happy for the city of Henderson, who will get additional tax dollars they didn’t have before.”

As a condition of approving the local license, City Councilman Dan Shaw requested the five dispensaries find banking in the next six months, for the currently all-cash business to make it easier for the city to track and receive tax payments, he said. While over 310 financial institutions across the country offer banking for marijuana dispensaries in other pot-legal states like Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Colorado, no banks in Nevada have openly partnered with dispensaries.

“It’s hard to force someone to take you on as a customer, but we will do anything we possibly can,” Jolley responded. He added that the all-cash nature of the business has not caused accounting problems for his dispensary.

Editor’s note: Brian Greenspun, the CEO, publisher and editor of the Las Vegas Sun, has an ownership interest in Essence Cannabis Dispensary.