EDITORIAL: Pot, meet juice

Medical marijuana can be synthesized and sold as a liquid. But it’s still not as strong as the juice on display at the Clark County Government Center, where influential Southern Nevada political and industry figures are chasing a limited number of licenses for pot businesses.

Under the new state law that authorized medical marijuana commerce, Southern Nevada is allowed up to 40 dispensaries. Unincorporated Clark County should get between 10 and 18 of the businesses. The county certainly has plenty of options: 109 companies have applied for licenses for dispensaries and cultivation and production operations.

As reported by the Review-Journal’s David Ferrara and James DeHaven, among the people who are listed on applications: political and public relations consultant Sig Rogich; longtime lobbyist Jay Brown; retiring District Judge James Bixler; former Henderson Mayor Robert Groesbeck and former Henderson Councilman Larry Scheffler; and on and on, to say nothing of the connected law firms that represent applicants.

The presence of so many big names shows just how lucrative the industry is expected to be. People with big business before the commission know they can’t afford to have unfamiliar faces make their cases. The competition will be intense. Outsiders are at a disadvantage.

Pot is losing its stigma. Perhaps one day Southern Nevada politics will follow suit.

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