Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2019

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Hearing over cannabis licenses likely to extend into August

A hearing over an injunction to stop the state’s retail marijuana licensing process recessed for the week today and may not pick up again until August.

Three witnesses involved in the injunction lawsuit brought against the state were questioned this morning.

Mark Bradley, Craig Rombough and Judah Zakalik — all of whom are involved with companies that lost out on 2018 licenses — testified that they had doubts about the fairness of the selection process.

Their testimony was part of an ongoing hearing over the grievances of dozens of companies rejected for permits to open retail marijuana stores last year.

Several lawsuits contend the licensing process wasn’t transparent and that the state picked favored winners. Some maintain the process was unconstitutional, others seek financial damages. Some seek a do-over.

Earlier this week, Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez said closing arguments might be made by both sides this week.

But scheduling conflicts among some attorneys involved in the case and the court, as well as the availability of an out-of-state expert witness that plaintiff attorney Dominic Gentile still wants to call will likely push the next hearing date to the first week of August.

Gonzalez ultimately will decide the fate of the injunction.

Last year, the Department of Taxation approved about five-dozen conditional retail cannabis licenses out of a pool of 461.

From July through March, recreational and medical marijuana sales in Nevada totaled $464 million. For March alone, $59.7 million in marijuana sales were recorded, according to the state.

Sun publisher Brian Greenspun was part owner of Essence, one of the defendants in this case.