Henderson approves regulations for medical marijuana businesses

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Marijuana dispensaries will be a reality in Henderson as the city council passed several ordinances Tuesday night to allow medical marijuana businesses to open up.

There was a question if Henderson would even allow medical marijuana businesses because of a moratorium by city officials earlier this year. City officials will begin accepting applications starting next week to fill the five dispensaries allowed within city limits.

The City of Henderson is routinely ranked as one of the safest cities in America by the FBI. Its image is something city leaders wanted to protect when medical marijuana was brought up.

Mona Lisa Samuelson is a marijuana advocate and patient, who is glad Henderson will welcome medical marijuana within its borders.

"I think that they are headed in the right direction," Samuelson said. "Here we are seeing that the regulations do need to become a little more relaxed, in order to encourage business and that's really what we are here to do."

Henderson city leaders had signaled they were going to take a tough approach on pot businesses. The guidelines included an increase of distance from marijuana establishments away from homes and community centers.

"We relaxed some of these standards when we realized it minimized the number of residential areas or commercial districts nearby that could provide establishments for residents," Assistant City Manager Bristol Ellington said.

The police department also raised concerns about the potential for violent crime around these mostly cash establishments. Police leaders said they would need more resources to patrol around the businesses.

City leaders say they will have a handle on that issue.

"With the increase in revenue from these establishments, we will utilize that money to deal with any of the enforcement that will be required due to any of the criminal activities that maybe associated with these establishments," Ellington added.

Starting Monday July 7 through July 17, the city will begin accepting applications at city hall for medical marijuana businesses.

Applicants will have to pay a $10,000 non-refundable application fee. Just like applicants in other jurisdictions in southern Nevada, Henderson applicants must first be approved by the state, which starts its approval process in August.


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