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Rural Nevada not embracing legalized recreational marijuana

Updated September 13, 2018 - 8:10 pm

Despite more marijuana licenses available from the state, parts of rural Nevada continue to shun the business.

But in other parts of rural Nevada, seeds of industry might be sprouting.

Las Vegas dispensary Acres Cannabis has a dispensary under development in Ely. Acres CEO John Mueller said he hopes once his and other dispensaries under development in rural Nevada become operational, other cities and counties might warm up to marijuana.

“All of us fight for city of Las Vegas tourists,” Mueller said. “The rural market is underserved, really, across the country.”

Representatives in Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Pershing, and Storey counties and in Elko told the Review-Journal they either have ordinances on their books that prohibit marijuana sales locally or have not seen any interest in local sales.

Mueller said that he expects to open his dispensary in Ely on Jan. 1 and that it will serve medical patients at least. But he should learn by Nov. 30 whether his business is licensed for both medical and recreational sales.

Silver State Relief has a medical marijuana dispensary under development in Fernley, and Deep Roots Medical has one under development in West Wendover.

Fernley city Manager Daphne Hooper said the city allows medical marijuana sales and dispensaries that sell both medical and recreational marijuana. The city doesn’t allow solely recreational dispensaries.

West Wendover City Manager Chris Melville said the city allows medical marijuana dispensaries but no cultivation or production businesses for marijuana used recreationally.

Elko City Manager Curtis Calder said the marijuana ordinance could come up for debate after a new city council is seated in January.

Two council members are termed out, and mayoral candidate Marcey Logsden has publicly supported medical marijuana.

Logsden is running against Councilman Reece Keener, who voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries locally. The mayor’s race is nonpartisan.

On Thursday, a letter signed by Wells City Manager Jolene Supp said the city will allow one local dispensary.

And Winnemucca-based lawyer Rendal Miller is expected to ask Humboldt County commissioners in October to approve his marijuana business despite a 2017 ordinance prohibiting growth and sales.

“It is my sense that the board will not reverse their position, but you never know,” county Manager Dave Mendiola said. “The core issue is really the federal ban on marijuana.”

Miller did not return requests for comment.

Contact Wade Tyler Millward at 702-383-4602 or wmillward@reviewjournal.com. Follow @wademillward on Twitter.

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