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Nye OKs recreational marijuana sales bill

Nye County officials approved changes to the county code that will allow for recreational marijuana sales.

A bill adopted by Nye County commissioners at the last meeting will change the chapter of Nye County code that pertains to licensing of medical marijuana establishments.

Recreational marijuana sales in Nevada are expected to begin on July 1.

Steve Osborne, Nye County principal planner, said the Nevada Department of Taxation, is already accepting marijuana license applications for holders of medical marijuana establishment certificates with the Division of Public and Behavioral Health. The Nevada Department of Taxation application period runs from May 15 through May 31.

“The county wanted to have its licensing code in place prior to the state processing of applications,” Osborne said.

The bill specifies procedures for recreational marijuana licensing, denial conditions, determination procedures, medical and recreational marijuana fees, renewal procedures and penalties for violations.

Nye County currently has 24 special use permits for medical marijuana establishments in Nye County, not all of which are operational. Fifteen medical marijuana establishments out of the 24 have applied to amend their special use permits to add recreational marijuana to the existing medical location. No one has applied yet for a recreational marijuana establishment license.

The timeframe to apply for Nye County recreational marijuana licenses under the fast start program for existing operational medical marijuana establishments is Thursdaythrough May 31.

Darrell Lacy, Nye County Planning Department director, said only existing licensees who are operating and in good standing will qualify for the temporary regulations. The permanent regulations will be in place in 2018, Lacy said.

“Our old code was specific to medical marijuana, it needed to be changed to allow recreational sales. Without the change there would be no recreational sales,” Lacy said.

After May 31, applications for Nye County recreational marijuana licenses will be processed and subject to the provisions of the approved bill.

Officials said they expect an influx of applications for recreational marijuana establishments.

“We expect there will be a large number of applicants applying for licenses for recreational marijuana establishments in Nye County under the fast start program,” Osborne said. “It seems likely that all operating medical marijuana establishments would be applying for a recreational license during the fast start timeframe. It’s unclear at this time how many applications for recreational establishments will be submitted after the fast start program timeframe ends.”

“Our taxes for medical marijuana are lower than Clark County, they have not finished their recreational. We may be the first county in the state to change the local regulations,” Lacy said.

The bill is to go into effect on Thursday.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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