County commissioners look at appeals to have 24/7 marijuana dispensaries

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas is a 24-hour town, but there's one industry in the city that does not have the luxury of staying open around the clock.  Marijuana dispensaries currently close shop between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., but businesses would like to see that changed for a variety of reasons.

But there's a movement afoot to change that. A debate over whether or not Clark County should allow 24-hour marijuana sales unfolded Tuesday as industry insiders made their case to Clark County commissioners.

"For certain locations that are in high-traffic areas or have people who are rotating off-shift or have tourists coming in at late night hours, they want to have that option," said Andrew Jolley, president, Nevada Dispensary Association. 

Jolley who owns two shops himself, says businesses would like to have some flexibility to capitalize on customer demand.

"For some locations, it's it's very important; for other locations, it's not as important," Jolley said.

According to Jolley, dispensaries near or on the Strip would likely benefit most from staying open round-the-clock. Securing the dispensaries is another reason for them to stay open.
  
The Las Vegas valley has seen a spike in burglaries at dispensaries.  Crooks are looking to score big payouts from the cash-based businesses.
   
The thieves hit after hours, so the thought is, if stores stay open, the crooks will stay away.

On Tuesday, commissioners opted to move forward with updating the county's ordinance to allow 24-hour pot sales.  They'll possibly take it up at the next zoning meeting.

Marijuana business owner Steve Wenger says he's pleased the county is working with the industry to move forward in a responsible way.

"It is a good two-way street, we have a set of rules and regulations that are very black-and-white here," said Wenger. 

The zoning commission could start going through the process of updating the county ordinance as early as Wednesday.

Any changes would ultimately have to be approved by the commission.  With or without an ordinance change, the county's prohibition on 24-hour dispensaries will end at the end of the year.
 


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