State to decide which medical pot businesses make the cut

LAS VEGAS -- Any business hoping to get in the medical marijuana trade faced a big deadline Monday.

The state's application deadline expired at 5 p.m. Monday and now the state must decide who makes the cut and who doesn't.

In order to open, medical marijuana establishments must get the okay from both the local government and the state.

The state of Nevada says statewide 191 medical marijuana establishment applications have been received.

Supporters argued the benefits of medical marijuana. Hopefuls wanting to open up shop made their case and now the state of Nevada decides if they make the grade.

The state has a key role, to review, rank, and score each application.

The local government's role is to decide if medical marijuana businesses would meet certain requirements, like zoning, for example. But the state has a different set of criteria.

"We're looking at the products. If they're packaged in a safe manner, if they have laboratory analysis done by a certified laboratory, if the establishments are secure," Chad Westom the bureau chief for the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health said.

The list of requirements is long.

Teams, made up of 15 experts, will review each application. They come from a range of professions, including agriculture, law enforcement, and pharmacy.

"We're well prepared to see this industry open up in Nevada and create a means by which they can get the medicine, as well as new jobs on top of that," Westom said.

Ultimately, 66 medical marijuana dispensaries can open statewide. There is not a designated number for cultivation, production, and laboratories.

The state says the results will be announced in early November.


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