Marijuana facilities approved in Mesquite

A large crowd attended the City Council’s special marijuana hearing Tuesday night to voice their opinions. Photo by Burton Weast.

A large crowd attended the City Council’s special marijuana hearing Tuesday night to voice their opinions. Photo by Burton Weast.

The cultivation, testing and dispensing of medical marijuana is now allowed within the City of Mesquite.  The city council approved three measures Tuesday night that set the standards, zoning and fees for medical marijuana facilities in a 4 to 1 vote, with councilor Kraig Hafen voting no, and councilors Delaney, Withelder, Rapson and Green voting yes.

Over 125 citizens attended the meeting and testified both for and against the measures for over two hours.

The action came after the city council reversed an earlier decision to delay any decision until January of 2015.  At the request of councilor Cindi Delaney and Geno Withelder, the earlier decision was reversed and the full council voted to approve the three measures without any delay.

Councilor Delaney explained her decision to move ahead with the ordinances, “we got ahead of ourselves at a very emotional night with a lot of people talking.”  Delaney went on to explain that after talking with legal counsel she realized that after informational meetings the council would still not be able to act until next year.  “I had heard that councilor Withelder also had reservations on how things had went and I called him and he agreed to put this back on the agenda.”

Council member Rich Green also explained his vote change saying that it “became clear to me that I was not very well informed on this subject, including the impact of the grow-your-own alternative that would be available.”  Green told the council and those in attendance that he then set out to “more fully educate myself.”

Green also told the packed audience that while the council’s decision on the subject “will not please 100 percent of our citizens, I hope that you will recognize that we have each done a great deal of research and given considerable thought to this very important matter.”  Green also said he would support a vote of the people before any approval of recreational marijuana.

Councilor Withelder said he was “by no means in favor of recreational marijuana,” but that he believed medical marijuana was necessary.  “The issue is medical marijuana not recreational marijuana,” said Withelder.

Councilor Hafen said he “appreciated the civility by both sides.”  He then stated that “I want it on the record that I am not against medical marijuana,” and that he understood the need some people have for the drug to relieve pain.  “But let’s not forget the fact that this is still illegal at the federal level,” said Hafen.

Hafen also told the council that they would be back in two years time with the same issue only “this time for allowing recreational marijuana.”

Deputy City Attorney Bob Sweetin answers questions from councilor Hafen and Rapson at Tuesday night’s special meeting to determine if the City would allow a Medical Marijuana facility in Mesquite. Photo by Burton Weast.

Hafen then asked Deputy City Attorney Bob Sweetin if the city could operate the dispensary.  Sweetin told the council that generally the state constitution prohibits local governments from operating private enterprises, but that there were limited examples of governments operating businesses “for the public good.”  Sweetin recommended that if the council wanted to consider operating dispensaries they should direct him to seek an Attorney General opinion.

Councilor George Rapson then questioned Sweetin on whether or not out-of-state medical marijuana cardholders could buy from a Nevada dispensary.  Sweetin said “there is a provision in the law that will allow out-of-staters to purchase medical marijuana here as long as they have the functional equivalent of a medical marijuana card in their state.”

Sweetin advised the council that the state would be identifying which states medical marijuana cards would be accepted in Nevada.

Councilor Rapson said he favored the ordinances because “it is control versus no control.”  Rapson expressed the concern that if the city didn’t have licensed dispensaries people would have the ability to grow their own marijuana.  “The amounts that can be grown is typically more than could be consumed” Rapson said.  “You could get a gang-banger in a house next to yours,” and have cars coming in and out all night and the “city have no control,” said Rapson.

But Rapson said he would oppose any approval of recreational marijuana by the city, and said he would support as part of the ordinance a provision saying the city would not approve recreational use.

Rapson then moved to approve the ordinances with an amendment saying the council would not approve recreational marijuana in the city.  City Attorney Cheryl Hunt then advised the council that future councils could change the provision.  The motion passed with Hafen voting no.

The council also adopted a fee schedule for marijuana facilities.  The fees ranged from annual fees of $67,000 for dispensaries to $10,000 for laboratories.  In addition there are state and local taxes on gross revenues of seven percent, and property taxes.

Councilor Hafen told the council not to expect a “windfall” of tax revenues.  Hafen said he had seen numerous examples of projects that never happened.  After the hearing Hafen told the MLN that he was concerned the decision was based on a facility that might never happen, and that the city would be left with “different results” than they anticipated.

Opponents to city ordinances listen to council decision Tuesday night. Photo by Burton Weast.

Opponents to city ordinances listen to council decision Tuesday night. Photo by Burton Weast.

Comments

  1. Well do we really need this stuff in Mesquite, by what I hear about Colorado and the dope, all you have is a bunch of pot head running around the state smoking this crazy shit, I never had a Doctor prescript this stuff for me or any of my Friends. I think the city Council goofed on this, this must be the start of the new world order.

    • Bill Miller says:

      Huh???

    • Dave.Perhaps your Dr. is NOT informed as to the Amazing things that this “Crazy Shit” Can do.from Amazing Pain Relief to stopping seizures in infants, Slowing the progress of Alzheimer and Dementia.To Helping our VETS with PTSD.There are Many, Many cases if you do the Research of This “Crazy Shit” literally Saving peoples lives.I am POSITIVE you are NOT getting information from Colorado stating that a Bunch of “potheads” are running around the State Smoking this Crazy Shit.You are Sadly miss informed about What Medical or recreational Marijuana REALLY is.Yet You Allow alcohol and Tobacco to Flow Freely in Mesquite..NO ONE has EVER Committed a violent crime or Killed any one under the influence of Just Marijuana.Hundreds if Not thousands of people DIE every year Because of the Use of both of those or while under the influences NO ONE has EVER burned to death smoking Pot in bed.Please Do a Little research.You are So Sadly misinformed and Just blurting things out that make NO since AT All.They are Still finding More things this amazing PLANT that Nature provides for us Can do to make Peoples lives more comfortable with NO harmfully insane side effects side effects. DO YOUR RESEARCH Dave Just Compare the amount of Deaths Do to side effects of prescription drugs compared to the Deaths from Marijuana use.Do me a Favor..Use the computer that you are using to make these rather insane statements on and Do some research.I myself am EXTREMELY grateful about the counsel decision.I worked HARD all my Life and need new Hips.I have a severe allergy to metal of all types and will NEVER be able to get new ones ..Unless they start making them out of cow bones.So just sitting is Very painful and My Mate has Anklosing Spondalitus (look it up) He is in Constant pain.We Both have jobs and pay our bills.We are NOT potheads smoking Crazy shit.Do Your Research Dave

    • The previous writers obviously have never used medical marijuana, or any kind of marijuana before, as their remarks are narrow minded and ridiculous. The state of Nevada legalized medical marijuana in 2002. Folks here in Mesquite have been driving to Las Vegas to obtain the medication they need.
      Have you seen all these “potheads” around town? Absolutely NOT, and you wouldn’t know if you saw them. They use the medication in their home just like you do your medication! Please do some research on the medical benefits of this medication before you start calling law abiding adults potheads. Hey maybe you can throw out some of those pain meds now!

    • Dave, you have no idea what you are talking about

  2. Being in need of pain meds after a water skiing accident 44 years ago which created 7 surgeries, a fused neck, physical therapy sessions, allergic to all FDA controlled products & then having 2 meds I could take, removed from the market by the FDA, because of unhealthy side affects, ordering from Canada & working with numerous Doctors & Pharmacies etc. etc. I know how hard it is to try to find relief, when what you need isn’t even manufactured anymore. You would think I would be in need of a Medical Marijuana Card. Maybe so, but NO THANKS. Me & everyone else out there can get their meds with a ‘FDA approved’ prescription from a Medical Provider through a local Pharmacy, or better yet for a better price, through ’mail order’ with a ‘Prescription Card‘.
    We all know Marijuana isn’t that hard to get, legally! And that’s OK. It’s their ‘legal’ choice, hopefully through good licensed dispensaries. But why is it necessary to allow a ‘Growing Facility’ for a few people in this small community???? OH…..now I remember it’s about the MONEY. Mesquite does have a good history about what kind of Businesses are good for Mesquite. Those people that are mentioned in The Guiness Book of World Records for their efforts certainly remember the days & nights of an ’Adult Book Store’. Some of the Council members were already talking about the money that will be needed for more Police Officers before the vote was ever taken. That should have been a hint that Mesquite will now become known as the “Pot Place”. NOT the Best Place to Retire or Raise Your Family. Maybe with a little luck Councilman Hafen will be right & this won’t even happen. Thanks for your vote Councilman Hafen!

    • Gayle.I am amazed. You have given every reason to have the Facilities in town and are still complaining.Mesquit is Already Know as Meth ville are you serious.I have been here for quite a while I am a LOCAL and not a Part timer.There is a Large amount of Crime in this town Because of Meth and Alcohol NOT “POT” Read this paper.I am almost Positive they have never had an arrest for some one committing a violent crime under the influence of “POT” .In fact the last 2 MURDERS that Happened right here in town behind the Maverick Station was due to Meth …NOT “POT” Your FDA approved Drugs have so much Crap in them that are Killing you.Why do you think the FDA took them off the Market.The side effect are Terrible and do Awful things to your Body.They cause more harm to your body then Good.DO THE RESEARCH “POT” has been around since the Beginning of time and there has NEVER been an incidence of “POT” causing some one internal bleeding to get pain relief.As a matter of fact there is NO RECORD of harmful side effects due to the ingestion of Marijuana…BUT Alcohol and Tobacco Flow freely in Mesquite so does Meth and you don’t have a problem raising your family here Now.The reason for the Grow facility is to Provide The Best quality Medical Marijuana without having to import it here.(and More Jobs)This is one of the Best choices this town ever made.So many elderly people live here and If they were given the option of NATURAL pain relief . With No HARMFUL side effect or FDA approved drugs that are Shutting down there organs with every pill they pop..I’m sure they would prefer the “POT” DO SOME RESEARCH Gayle..Mr Hafen is just as Misinformed as You are.As Counsel Women Delaney said…They DID there Research. that’s why the vote was 4~1.PLEASE Do some research before Forming such a Bad opinion about something you know very little about.Talk to the Local cops…They will tell you they have MORE problems with Meth and alcohol then “POT”Just Remember Tobacco and Alcohol were illegal and WRONG at one point in History also.Yet they are still here killing MORE and MORE people every day.”There is NO Record ANYWHERE of “POT” killing ANYONE…Do some research.

  3. Trish, Your narrow minded to think all people with a prescription for it are really sick and need it for medical purposes, how many are addicts and using medical as an excuse to get the stuff. You know once its approve for medical that soon it will be for street sale too and all our kids will be raised pot heads. If you need it go to hospital and get it, something like chemo injections, this way were not having it available to every pot head in town.

    • Dave the same goes for Prescription drugs.Several Dr’s right here in Mesquite No Longer Practice here due to the fact that they got Busted for Prescribing Drugs for people that didn’t need them.Why should it be any different then Prescription drugs and Meth They BOTH are sold on the streets of Mesquite Daily.NO one Needs alcohol and Tobacco.They have NEVER found a Benefit for either one of those yet You have no problem with them being sold here to the Public to kids with Fake I.D.’s.Or what about the kids that travel here EVERY weekend. from Utah to DRINK and Party at our Hotels..Why is that alright with You…NO ONE Has EVER died from Marijuana use.It’s O.K. for our kids to Drink and drive and Die of Tobacco and Alcohol side effects BUT Not Marijuana. You Don’t have to go to The Hospital to get your Medication .Why should people who use Safe Medical Marijuana have to.I Don’t understand why Medical Marijuana Seems so disturbing to you and Meth ,Prescription Meds. and alcohol. Don’t seem to be a Problem…NO ONE has EVER died from Being a ‘POTHEAD” Dave.MILLIONS of People are addicted to Prescription drugs that their Dr.s are billing Medicaid and Medicare for DAILY..If you choose to Use Natural pain relief..It comes out of your own Pocket..NOT the Governments.PLEASE Do Some research.Talk to the Local Cops.They will tell you who the Problem is with.NOT Medical(or recreational) marijuana users..But Prescription Drug attics or when Alcohol is involved.Do the RESEARCH..The Drugs you are Comfortable with are Killing people or Causing Life altering side effects….and yet you are completely against the ONE ALL Natural Life saving Drug.No one has ever had to go on Dialysis from Ingesting Med,Marijuana.You are Very Narrow minded if you think Marijuana Medical or NOT is more harmful then what Dr.s pass out and what we Sell legally.Oh and I have No idea What makes you think our kids can’t get ANYTHING they want on the streets now days.POT is the least harmful of all of them.ASK your kids…Even the “GOOD”ones know where to get the Illegal prescription drugs and how to get Alcohol.PLEASE do some Reserch.it’s closed minded people like you that are keeping the prescription drug zars in business. while they Pump tons of poison into your bodies

  4. I’m glad the council finally did something good and passed this bill that will allow job growth in the possible future. People who are against this need to get their facts straight and get off their high horse (no pun intended). These things are heavily regulated just like a pharmacy, a liquor store and casino so as long as we are here to keep things in line there should be no problem having something like this in our city.

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