Odor from pot-growing facilities gets Clark County Commission’s attention

The smell of marijuana is in the air, and some members of the Clark County Commission are worried it’s only going to get worse.

Clark County commissioners on Tuesday held their first substantive discussion of marijuana since passage of Question 2, the ballot measure that will legalize pot use for adults 21 and older beginning Jan. 1. Among other things, they aired concerns and sought clarification on several topics, including packaging of marijuana products to keep them out of the hands of children, how the taxes on marijuana sales will work, when the first shops might be licensed by the state and how authorities could police home-grown crops.

But marijuana’s pungent odor drew the most discussion.

Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said he is worried about the smells emanating from the growing facilities.

Companies near medical marijuana growing facilities already have been lodging odor complaints with the county, and the issue will only grow as those facilities expand and grow more marijuana, he said.

Jacqueline Holloway, the director of business licensing for Clark County, conceded that the county hasn’t done enough to regulate the odors from current growing facilities and needs to do better.

“We’ve learned from medical marijuana that we need to do more to protect our communities from those issues,” Holloway said.

Sisolak said he wants to look into what kind of restrictions and regulations the county can implement to help reduce the powerful odors.

“I think we need to get a handle on this at the beginning,” Sisolak said.

Sisolak also said the county should take “an active role” to influence how the state implements the new law, a notion that commissioner Chris Giunchigliani agreed with.

“Otherwise we’re going to get stuck with what they do, and we don’t have any influence,” Sisolak said.

Question 2, which passed by a 9 percent margin last month, will allow adults 21 and older to use marijuana and possess less than one ounce of the drug or up to one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana concentrate at a given time. The Nevada Department of Taxation has until Jan. 1, 2018 to craft licensing regulations and begin the licensing process for recreational sales.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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