Nevada patients who have been waiting for years for a licensed dispensary to open in the Las Vegas area finally have some good news. On Monday, doors opened to the Las Vegas area’s first dispensary — Euphoria Wellness. Over 70% of Nevada’s medical marijuana patients are located in Clark County and, until now, they had nowhere to purchase their medicine.
In 2000, voters overwhelmingly supported an initiative that made Nevada one of the earliest states to adopt a medical marijuana law. It took the Nevada Legislature another 12 years to pass a law permitting regulated businesses to provide Nevadans with safe access to cannabis. The first store opened a few weeks ago in Sparks — a little over two years after the bill allowing dispensaries was passed.
The delays have been very frustrating for patients, but hopefully this is a sign that Nevada is finally getting its act together and implementing the medical marijuana law in an appropriate manner.
For more information on the medical marijuana program, visit the Department of Health and Human Services’ website.
According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, an initiative petition that would make the adult use of marijuana legal in Nevada could come to fruition if signatures presented to county offices are valid.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol in Nevada have “unloaded much more than the 101,667 registered voter signatures needed to qualify the petition,” said Joe Brezny, spokesman for the coalition.
The deadline to submit signatures for the petition was Wednesday. In Clark County alone, more than 145,000 signatures were submitted.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol in Nevada is now working to present signatures to county offices in rural Nevada and Washoe.
If county officials deem the signatures valid, the Nevada State Legislature could possibly pass the initiative as early as the spring. Approval would take a two-thirds vote in both chambers, due to the petition’s tax component. The petition would also need the signature of Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval to become law. Rejection within the Nevada State Legislature, however, would set it up for a popular vote in 2016.
Jonathan Ogden, retired Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle, has applied for a medical marijuana dispensary license in Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. There are a limited number of licenses available in Nevada, so it is still unclear whether or not Ogden will own a dispensary.
One hundred and nine other companies have filed applications, and only 66 will be licensed this year, 40 of which will reside in Las Vegas (Clark county) where Ogden has applied. Applicants must also show they have $250,000 in liquid assets and have a licensed physician as the medical director to apply.
Hopefully, the NFL will feel the pressure of having Hall of Fame leaders like Ogden publicly support medical marijuana. The NFL's stance on medical marijuana hasn’t evolved to the same extent as that of the nation at large, and the organization still imposes strict laws on players via steep fines and suspensions. However, with the NBA and NCAA rethinking their marijuana-use policies, perhaps, the NFL will move in the direction of acceptance.