Change could be on the horizon for Henderson’s rules regarding marijuana shop licenses.
The City Council discussed options Tuesday night for changing marijuana rules to allow recreation-only dispensaries. Currently, dispensaries in Henderson are required to offer both medical and recreational marijuana.
In December 2018, the state notified the city that six applicants received conditional licenses to operate recreational dispensaries in Henderson. The applicants have until June to get a Henderson business license and zoning approval for operation.
There are no plans to increase the number of medical marijuana licenses in the state, meaning the applicants would not be able to operate under the city’s current rules.
“I don’t want us to lose that opportunity to have those licenses in the city,” Ward 1 Councilwoman Michelle Romero said during the meeting.
Marijuana has been a lucrative revenue source for Henderson, which has received $4.3 million in business licenses since medical sales began in 2015 and recreational sales began in 2017.
After recreational marijuana sales began, the City Council decided to give 30 percent of proceeds from those business licenses to schools in Henderson. Henderson is home to five dispensaries.
“I would hate to see those potential revenues go someplace else when we have the ability to do something good with it,” Romero said.
During the meeting, Ward 2 Councilman Dan Shaw suggested city officials consider rolling out business licenses based on metrics such as sales or population growth.
Michael Cathcart, Henderson’s business operations manager, said the state would need to extend the June licensing deadline to give the City Council time to implement rules regarding a slower rollout of business licenses. The city does not know how long of an extension it would be need, he said.
Ward 3 Councilman John Marz supported breaking up the requirement to have medical and recreational marijuana operate in the same space. He agreed that certain milestones should be met before more business licenses could be handed out for recreational dispensaries.
“This isn’t about us having the ability to collect more money from people,” he said at the meeting. “This is about doing the right thing for the citizens.”
Cathcart said staff members will try and bring a solution to the City Council for consideration in the next 60 to 90 days.