Though Clark County, Las Vegas, and North Las Vegas are forcing various medical marijuana applicants to apply for city and county business licenses and special use permits even before the State of Nevada opens its licensing window in August, the city of Henderson plans to take a different approach. Henderson is going to let the State decide who is worthy of getting a medical cannabis license and only after that will Henderson make its own assessments about who should receive one of its five local marijuana dispensary business licenses and conditional use permits (this is in addition to an undetermined number of local cultivation and producer business licenses and conditional use permits).
When the time comes for doling out a Henderson medical marijuana business license and conditional use permit, Henderson will be looking at the following criteria (among others):
- Applicants whose proposed facilities comply with local zoning regulations.
- Applicants with no felony record.
- Applicants who pass an FBI background check.
- Applicants who legally reside in the United States.
- Applicants whose partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or association has at least 20 percent of its ownership residing in Nevada.
- Applicants who have satisfied the “preliminary finding of suitability” necessary for a medical marijuana establishment.
- Applicants who have paid the $10,000 non-refundable fee for a conditional use permit.
Once Henderson approves an application, the applicant must pay anywhere between $60,000 for a business license to operate a cultivation facility and dispensary at a single location to $100,000 for a license to operate a cultivation facility, dispensary, and production facility for edible or marijuana-infused products at one or more locations. In addition to these fees, an approved applicant must also pay a $25,000 indemnity fee and 6% of monthly gross revenues to the city.
At least that’s what Henderson is saying right now. Nothing is final yet and the Las Vegas Review Journal tells us that “the city will review a series of proposed bills that would set the parameters for medical marijuana establishments, including locations, fees, the application process and general regulations. The ordinances are scheduled for adoption at the July 1 council meeting.” Needless to say, our Nevada-based counsel will be at that council meeting.
If the city adopts the proposed regulations, Henderson plans to start accepting MMJ applications beginning on July 7 and ending on July 17.
So, what are the logistics on Henderson’s MMJ application processing?
Essentially, the city will review each application to make a determination of compliance with local zoning and “suitability” as a business. The city will then send to the State those applications that pass those tests. The State then ranks the applicants and sends that ranking to the Henderson Planning Commission. The Henderson Planning Commission will then review that list and present its recommendations to the Henderson City Council for yet another review. The Henderson City Council then ultimately determines who will be granted business licenses and conditional use permits. It is important to note that even though the city will have only five dispensaries total, the city plans to send all suitable, viable applicants to the State for approval, leaving it up to the the State to rank the applicants and then send those back to the city.
We know the above is relatively confusing and still somewhat tentative and we will be contacting the appropriate government officials this week to seek clarifications and then reporting back on what we learn.
Even if the City of Henderson adopts its proposed rules on July 1 (as expected), it likely won’t be until November or December 2014 before Henderson chooses its medical marijuana licensees, as the State has up to 90 days to review each MME application it receives. And, once again, we cannot resist pointing out how Nevada’s cannabis licensing procedures (as a whole) are among the most cumbersome and expensive of any State in which our cannabis business attorneys have worked.