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Plenty of problems with state pot approval process

Whether it was the process established by the Legislature, or the implementation established the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH), the ratings of applications for some 500-plus Medical Marijuana Establishment (MME) licenses which were just released are about as fouled up as anything we’ve seen recently from the state government.

Consider this…

You go to school. You think you did really great. At the end of the semester you receive a report card. But the report card only tells you your Grade Point Average is 2.3 without telling you what your individual grades were in Math, English, Science and History. All you know is that you chalked up a 2.3 GPA when you thought you should have gotten a 3.5, and have no idea what you need to work on in the next semester to improve.

Well, that’s exactly the situation MME applicants find themselves in now that the DPBH has issued its official ratings.

The applications were graded on seven different categories where a wide range of points could be earned, up to a perfect score of 250. But when the ratings were released, all the applicants were given was their total point score, not the point score by category.

So how are they supposed to know what they need to fix and improve?

But it gets worse…

Take Henderson for example. The state issued provisional licenses to five applicants to operate dispensaries in the city.

As a resident of Henderson, you probably would like to know who those five applicants are and where their dispensaries will be opened, right?

Sorry, Charlie. Amazingly, not one of the five approved operators signed a disclosure consent form agreeing to allow their identities to be revealed to the public.

How in the world can the government allow such secrecy to be perpetrated on the taxpayers and citizens of a community? How did this happen?

It happened because the Legislature decided to play God and regulate the free market, that’s how.

And much like teachers in our worst-in-the-nation public schools, it’s not the fault of the individual staffers at DPBH who have been forced to do the best they can with a lousy system.

The Legislature next session needs to give up this notion of regulating the free market and abolish the limits it placed on the number of dispensaries which are allowed to open and operate.

The best operators will provide great customer service and high-quality products at competitive prices. The worst will be driven out of business by lack of customer support. If Walgreens can open up shop right across the street from CVS, then a Medifarm dispensary should be able to open shop right across the street from NuLeaf.

So let it be written; so let it be done.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grassroots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.MuthsTruths.com.

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