aamericans for safe access
alabama medical marijuana coalition
Americans for Safe Access
The green rush is on in Las Vegas.
The city is now officially accepting applications for medical marijuana business licenses and land use permits, which will pave the way for dispensaries and cultivation sites to open later this year or early next.
Las Vegas plans to issue 12 licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries as well as an undetermined number of cultivation facilities and production facilities.
Entrepreneurs must submit their paperwork in person by 3 p.m. on July 23 to be considered. Officials will then vet applicants, select finalists and present their selections to the city council and planning commission this fall.
Landing a license will likely be tough, as a large number of applicants are expected to apply.
The city is an attractive place for medical cannabis business in general, in large part due to the massive numbers of tourists that visit each year. Under Nevada’s program, registered patients from other medical cannabis states can buy MMJ from dispensaries while visiting.
More than 200 groups recently applied for dispensary licenses in unincorporated parts of Clark County, including areas around the Strip.
Some of the applicant groups that failed in Clark County are expected to apply for licenses in Las Vegas.
Medical marijuana entrepreneurs in Nevada are considering the possibility of working with private vault companies to store their cash.
Vegas Vaults, a safety deposit box storage facility in Clark County, said it is already receiving inquiries from prospective MMJ business owners seeking an alternative to traditional banking services, which are largely unavailable to companies that handle cannabis.
The company allows customers to store “virtually anything” they want – including cash. Users can do so anonymously, meaning that Vegas Vaults doesn’t collect any information on these customers. That could prevent courts from seizing the boxes or locking down assets.
The company’s owner, William Bayne, said one challenge for potential clients that want to store money is that the boxes only hold approximately $1 million in cash. High-volume medical marijuana businesses might have to stockpile much more than that, given that many of them won’t be able to land bank accounts.
In other markets, entrepreneurs have paid to build vaults or safe rooms in their dispensaries, though these options are expensive and require ample space. Other businesses pay transportation services to move their cash to secure vault businesses.
Nevada passed a law legalizing dispensaries last year, and several communities have started the application process for MMJ business licenses.
Clark County, Nevada, has taken another big step toward rolling out its medical marijuana program.
County commissioners approved 101 applications for medical cannabis businesses this week. The breakdown of approved applicants: 58 cultivators, 38 production facilities and five testing labs.
The commissioners rejected only five applications from a pool of 106, while six other applicants withdrew during the process.
Although the county has a cap of 18 licenses for dispensaries, it does not have a limit for the number of cultivation and production facilities or testing labs.
Some groups that didn’t secure dispensary licenses received initial approval to open a production or cultivation facility, giving them a second chance to enter the industry. One of those groups – Polaris Wellness Center – plans to now cultivate plants and produce marijuana sodas, brownies and cookies.
Similar to the dispensary application process, the producers/processor application process attracted a smattering of entrepreneurs with connections to politics and big business. Randy Black, a longtime casino executive, won a license, as did Brian Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun.
The license winners must now gain state approval before they can open.