Las Vegas City Council considers another moratorium on medical marijuana

Over the objections of Councilman Bob Coffin, the Las Vegas City Council introduced a bill Wednesday to extend a city moratorium on medical marijuana operations until Sept. 15.

Normally, bill introductions are routine and there is no discussion, but Coffin, a proponent of moving the process along quickly so that patients will be able to have access quickly, said he wanted to vote against the bill introduction.

However, no vote was taken.

In another unusual move, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman decided the issue should not go to the three-council member recommending committee, which Coffin sits on, but instead should be heard by the entire council.

The current moratorium expires March 17, and the bill will be voted on March 19 and would extend it for six months.

Legislation in 2013 allows the city to have 10 licenses for medical marijuana establishments. The council is divided on whether it will allow these operations as Clark County is doing or ban them, as Boulder City recently did. Henderson is operating under a moratorium.

The moratorium would block the city from accepting or considering any applications for land use, business licenses, building permits or other applications that would move the medical marijuana process forward.

However, the bill includes language that the moratorium could end sooner if the city adopts all the necessary code ordinance amendments involving either prohibiting or permitting medical marijuana establishments, including cultivating, manufacturing or dispensing medical marijuana.