This month I have put together some questions and answers about medical marijuana. The answers are from legal opinions issued by legal experts in Las Vegas. Of course, it’s rare to get lawyers to agree on legal issues, so don’t accept these as the final word. Nevada is entering new territory with marijuana regulations and laws are always subject to change.
Let’s start this month with some questions and answers about dispensaries.
Q:I see online that a number of dispensaries are operating the Las Vegas area. They don’t provide an address, but give a phone number, publish a menu of their products with prices and even say they deliver. How can this be if applicants are just now applying for licenses to the state?
A: The answer to this question is simple. Under state law they are not legal. Someone is looking the other direction in allowing them to operate. I foresee legal sales through a dispensary in about 18 months. The state will have approved applications back to the local communities that will allow them in early November. Figuring about a year for a grow house to start producing and getting it to market. It will be awhile.
Q: It’s been rumored that employees of dispensaries will be, “potheads” brought in off the streets.
A: All employees must go through a very vigorous background check to receive an “agent registration card” from the Nevada State health Division in order to work in a Nevada medical marijuana establishment.
Q: Can medical marijuana establishments lose their registration certificates in Nevada?
A: Yes, and it appears it can happen quickly by providing medical marijuana to anyone who is not legally eligible to have it or receiving medical or any marijuana from unlawful sources. All facilities are subject to inspections by authorities at anytime. With so much invested in operating a medical marijuana facility I would find it difficult that violating the law would be worth it.
Q: Can Nevada medical marijuana establishments sell marijuana to anyone with a card?
A: No. There is a very limited legal customer base in Nevada. A dispensary can only sell to a patient who is a registered medical marijuana cardholder. The cards are issued by the DMV, non-transferable, expire in one year unless renewed and will be nearly impossible to alter or forge. Each cardholder has only one designated dispensary at a time where they may buy. In the case of Mesquite, there can only be one dispensary based on our population. A cardholder may change to a different one every thirty days, but that means going to Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, or Henderson.
Next month I’ll try and answer other questions on this topic, but I encourage readers to send in questions on other topics they find important to Mesquite and I will answer them as best as I can.
Mesquite Mayor Allan Litman publishes a column in the Mesquite Local News at the end of each month. He encourages the community to email him with questions they may have about Mesquite and the City’s policies and issues. Send your questions to email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org and the email will be submitted.