Marijuana dispensaries still up for debate in Reno

reno nevada hbtv hemp beach tvWhile medical marijuana dispensaries passed the Legislature, they were still a topic of debate at the Reno City Council meeting on Wednesday.

How the new law translates to Reno is still being worked out, from where the dispensaries can be built to whether Reno will have them at all.

The use of medical pot has been legal in the Silver State since voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2000, but until the Legislature approved dispensaries, no legal way existed to purchase the drug.

“I firmly believe federal law trumps state law,” Councilman Dwight Dortch said. “Are we going to be on the hook, because we licensed someone to do an illegal activity?”

The council agreed that if they did decide to go ahead and allow the dispensaries, they were going to need to determine who would be licensed, whether to charge application fees and what locations could be used for the dispensaries.

Under the new law, Washoe County can have 10 dispensaries, but only 25 percent of those 10 can be in a single city, which means Reno will have only two dispensaries.

Council members also want to look into other states like Arizona, who have already implemented medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as looking to other counties in Nevada to see what they will do with the new law.

“I think we have to be tracking what’s happening in Henderson, Clark County, and see where they’re going with this,” Councilwoman Jenny Berkhus said.

The council decided to work out regulation issues in a meeting in September so they would have more information available to make their decision.

The Nevada Media Alliance is a journalism partnership with RGJ Media, KNPB Channel 5, Reno Public Radio and the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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