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A few medical marijuana applicants fail to apply at state

Four of the applicants that applied for county special use permits to build medical marijuana cultivation facilities and two applicants that applied for permits for production facilities didn’t follow through. All failed to apply for a provisional certificate from the state which is needed to go into operation.

Chad Weston, bureau chief for the state medical marijuana program, said he was forbidden by state law from releasing names of the state applicants, as Nevada Revised Statute 453 requires that information be confidential. The State of Nevada considered applications from Aug. 5-18 after which they do a 90-day review. The state is expected to announce who will be awarded provisional certificates to open medical marijuana establishments Nov. 3.

The state received 13 applications for cultivation facilities from Nye County, after 17 applicants presented their requests for county special use permits at a day-long hearing by the Nye County Commission July 16. The state received only seven applications from Nye County for production facilities, after nine made presentations to county commissioners. There were six applicants seeking a Nye County special use permit for a medical marijuana dispensary. The state also reported six dispensary applications.

The medical marijuana bill, authored by Assemblyman Tick Segerblom, D-Boulder City and passed in the 2013 session of the Nevada Legislature, allowed up to 66 medical marijuana dispensaries statewide and 40 medical marijuana dispensaries in Clark County but only one in Nye County. The bill, however, didn’t set a limit on the number of marijuana cultivation facilities.

The medical marijuana program is part of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health which will hold a public hearing Sept. 23 to determine whether there should be a limit on cultivation. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the division received applications to construct two to three times the amount of cultivation space needed for the program, which the state estimated would require 650,000 to 1 million square feet.

Clark County Commissioners approved 58 applications to cultivate marijuana in unincorporated areas of the county.

Overall, the state received 520 applications for medical marijuana establishments, of which 182 were for cultivation facilities, 198 were for dispensaries, the Review-Journal reported. Each application requires a $5,000 non-refundable fee. Westom confirmed the applications generated $2.6 million in revenue for the state, but added funds not needed to run the program are transferred to the Nevada Department of Education by state law.

Once an applicant is awarded a provisional certificate by the state they have 18 months to open a medical mari9juana establishment, Weston said. That allows time for construction of any facilities, inspections and approvals by local government. The certificate is then final.

Nye County Commissioners passed an ordinance mandating a $15,000 fee for the initial issuance of a license for a medical marijuana dispensary, with a $5,000 non-refundable application fee. The county ordinance sets a fee of $5,000 for the initial issuance of a license for a cultivation facility or production facility with a $2,000 non-refundable application fee. For testing laboratories the county requires $2,500 for the initial issuance, of which $1,250 is non-refundable.

Based on those figures Nye County could collect $82,000 in non-refundable application fees for medical marijuana establishments. The county stands to collect $145,000 from the initial issuance of medical marijuana licenses if all the cultivation and production licenses submitted are approved by the state and the one dispensary.

In addition, Nye County will charge a monthly business license fee equal to 2 percent of the total value of all medical marijuana produced, under a bill passed Sept. 2.

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