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State And Local Governments Grapple With Marijuana Zoning

As medical marijuana users in Nevada await the opening of dispensaries, state and local governments still have zoning issues to resolve.

Some potreprenuers worry that the state will exercise its right to limit the amount of land that can legally be used for growing pot. If that happens, medical marijuana advocates contend, the price of medical marijuana could become prohibitive.  

According the state, Nevada requires approximately 1 million square feet of space to grow marijuana, in order to supply Nevada residents as well as out of state tourists.

Arizona’s Mo Asnani, who owns marijuana businesses in southern Nevada, isn’t against a cap, but says it should be closer to 2.5 million square feet, to accommodate edibles and concentrates, which require a greater volume of raw product.

But a representative for the advocacy group Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he is “dead set against any type of limitations” on marijuana cultivation, as is State Sen. Tick Segerblom, a longtime proponent of medical marijuana in Nevada – he says the market should decide.

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There aren’t just concerns about where the marijuana is grown, but where it’s sold.

In Henderson, a would-be dispensary owner is tangling with city council over the location of his business.

Commission Chairman Michael Campbell told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it’s the first appeal the council has faced regarding a medical marijuana business. At issue is the proximity of the proposed dispensary to a public park and a pediatric dental practice.

An attorney for Wellness Center argues that the business would actually be located 1,700 feet from the park, and that a pediatric dental center doesn’t meet the requirements of a business that provides “recreational opportunities or services to children.”

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