Nevada medical pot applicants grow to 502

The state received 65 medical marijuana establishment applications by mail since the Monday deadline, pushing the number of applications received to 502.

The applications had to be postmarked before Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

The state began accepting the applications and accompanying $5,000 application fees Aug. 5, generating nearly $2.5 million in revenue.

Nearly 68 percent of the applications came from Clark County, said Chad Westom, director of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, on Thursday.

Forty percent of the statewide applications have been for dispensaries, 34 percent for cultivation facilities, 23 percent for production facilities and 4 percent for testing laboratories.

The latest number is in line with the 500 applications the state had expected to receive.

The state’s application review process has already begun and will focus on public health and safety, and delivering marijuana as medicine. The state will announce the results of its application reviews in early November.

Applicants who are approved for provisional certification will go to the various municipalities for additional permits and licensing, including approval for site plans, zoning and proximity to other medical marijuana businesses or facilities.

Dispensary owners will have to pay a $30,000 fee to the state if approved for a provisional certificate and are licensed by a local jurisdiction. Not everyone approved at the state level will receive local approval to operate because the number of dispensaries allowed is capped.

The nearly 200 dispensary applications are for the 66 dispensaries available statewide. The Legislature in 2013 approved Assembly Bill 374 authorizing dispensaries to operate in Nevada, 40 of them in Clark County and 10 in Washoe County, and 16 in the rural areas. The state didn’t set numbers for cultivation, labs or manufacturing sites.

The first dispensaries are likely to open in early 2015.

Contact Arnold M. Knightly at aknightly@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3882. Find him at Twitter: @KnightlyGrind.