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North Las Vegas approves medical pot ordinance


North Las Vegas adopted its first medical marijuana ordinance on Wednesday, plowing ahead with a spate of land use and zoning rules introduced June 4.

Final action by the City Council on pot planning regulations came just hours after Las Vegas rolled out its land use rules and a week after Henderson debuted its plans to join the green rush.

A separate, 21-page business license ordinance also was introduced and was set for final action next month. It keeps earlier provisions limiting dispensary ad campaigns and barring pot shop drive-thru windows.

It also drops restrictions on 24-hour dispensaries and pot shops sited near hotel-casinos, which city planners hope will help set North Las Vegas apart in an increasingly crowded field of pot-friendly Southern Nevada municipalities.

“We want a level playing field, and we want to promote vertical integration,” Community Development and Compliance Director Greg Blackburn said before Wednesday’s meeting. “We want to do what’s right for businesses, make sure no one is at a disadvantage in the market.”

Blackburn said public response to planners’ earlier business friendly tweaks has been overwhelmingly positive, part of the reason he’s decided to nix a series of planned town hall meetings on the topic in favor of one-on-one sit-downs with pot permit hopefuls.

Staffers are still tinkering with application and annual license fees to be collected from the city’s medical marijuana business owners. They expect to have a final fee schedule in place before the city starts accepting business license applications on July 7.

Public hearings on those applications are scheduled for July 2. Medical pot entrepreneurs can start sending their land use applications to the city on June 24.

Contact James DeHaven at jdehaven@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3839. Find him on Twitter:@JamesDeHaven.

 

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