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Medical marijuana faces tight zoning restrictions in Clark County

Reported by: John Treanor
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Updated: 2/27/2014 10:30 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) – Clark County has put out zoning ordinances for marijuana dispensaries, and to say that Commissioners are erring on the side of caution is putting it lightly.

County Commissioners will soon weigh the zoning restrictions and the proposed restrictions are... well... strict. So strict that those hoping to own dispensaries are worried about where they will fit in.

The zoning ordinance sets out the standards that all dispensaries and grow operation need to meet before they can open, starting with where they can start up shop. Dispensaries must stay 1000 feet away from schools, 300 feet from parks, and 350 feet from neighborhoods. Marijuana farms, must stay indoors, and must remain 1000 feet from a school, 300 from a park and 600 from a neighborhood. Production facilities must remain 660 feet from a neighborhood.

Once a place is found that meets these restrictions, the county says they'll check whether the dispensary is in a low-crime area, without providing any definition about what that means. The facilities must also remain close to established medical offices so that patients have an easy time getting to the dispensaries.

There is real concern over whether dispensary owners can find a place to exist.

"We could be down to less than five percent of all of the buildings in unincorporated Clark County,” said Kathy Gillespie, who hopes to own a dispensary once ordinances are finalized. “It is becoming a very small pool to draw from. It was a small pool to draw from.”

Setting up shop is not an easy task, and Commissioner Lawrence Weekly says this is by design.

“We have an opportunity to come in and modify it to make it a bit stricter,” Weekly said.

Kathy Gillespie says she is happy with the ordinance overall, but hopes that the county will relax the restrictions in the future.

The public will have their first chance to give commissioners their opinions on the ordinances on March 19 at the Clark County Government Center.



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