LAS VEGAS (KLAS-TV) — Blistering allegations have been leveled at the Nevada Department of Taxation over its handling of marijuana licenses. Two cannabis licensees: Planet 13 and Livfree Wellness, LLC are asking a district court for an injunction to stop the processing of conditional marijuana licenses issued in Dec. 2018.
The court filing accuses the taxation department of ignoring “clear and mandatory” rules set forth in state law, including the requirement that “diversity” should be a major consideration in awarding dispensary licenses. The complaint also alleges that instead of relying on state employees to grade the application, taxation hired six temp workers from Manpower to handle the job.
The documents allege the qualifications of the graders were “sketchy,” and none of them had experience in the marijuana industry. The lawsuit concludes that marijuana licenses may be worth as much as $30 million, and says the “sloppy, haphazard and unlawful way in which these valuable property interests were dished out to a few favored applicants is stunning.”
In all, 32 of the prized licenses were awarded to four companies, including a single company from Illinois which landed 11 licenses. This is the second of what could be many legal actions against the state for actions that were described in the filing as shocking and highly suspicious. A previous lawsuit asking for a similar injunction has 12 dispensaries that were denied licenses. A hearing has been set for May in that case.