Henderson City Council approves 6-month recreational marijuana ban

Wed, Feb 8, 2017 (7:59 a.m.)

The Henderson City Council has passed a six-month moratorium on marijuana sales.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to ban the sale of recreational marijuana while it waits for regulations from the state.

According to the ordinance, the moratorium will allow city officials to consider regulations that will work with the regulatory scheme enacted by the state.

The moratorium can be lifted at any time once the City Council adopts regulations on the sale of recreational marijuana.

The city has issued 15 business licenses for medical marijuana establishments, including five dispensaries, six cultivation facilities, three production facilities and a cultivation and production facility.

Scot Rutledge of the Nevada Cannabis Coalition said that while the measure may delay the application process for dispensaries hoping to join Nevada’s recreational sales market, it will not impact the expansion of cultivation facilities, production facilities or testing labs in Henderson.

The moratorium could provide for a “very smooth transition” to recreational sales in Henderson without forcing the city to “rush into it,” Rutledge said.

Mandating the additional time for recreational facilities will also allow the city and residents receive and give feedback, he said.

“It’s an exceptionally straightforward and transparent policy,” Rutledge said.

Andrew Jolley, who owns The+Source Dispensary, 9480 S Eastern Ave., called the city’s moratorium “encouraging,” adding the Henderson City Council took a similar measure in enacting a moratorium before medical marijuana dispensaries were opened 2015.

“I think the meta message here is that the mayor and the City Council want to take a measured approach to recreational as they did with medical,” Jolley said. “And I don’t blame them at all.”

Armen Yemenidjian of Essence Cannabis Dispensary, 4300 E. Sunset Road, was also at Tuesday night’s council meeting. While the moratorium won’t affect medical marijuana sales at his dispensary, Yemenidjian said, he wasn’t sure about the future of recreational sales.

“Every municipality makes their own decisions, and we’re respectful of that,” Yemenidjian said. “That’s all I can really say at this point.”

Las Vegas Sun reporter Chris Kudialis and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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