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Water And Marijuana At The Center Of Fight In Nye County


Marijuana growhouse
Emilie Ritter for NPR

Water is a precious resource all around Southern Nevada.

Which is why officials in Nye County aren’t pleased with a controversial proposal by a Las Vegas medical pot cultivation facility to truck water from Amargosa Valley to Las Vegas.

"This came as something of a surpise when a presentation was made by Acres Cultivation to the Las Vegas City Council ... where a representatvie from the medical marijuana facility indicated that water would be trucked to Clark County to operate the facility," Lillian Browne, a reporter with the Pahrump Valley Times, told KNPR's State of Nevada.

Browne said Nye County commissioners and the Amargosa Town Council were under the impression that the grow facility would be operated in Amargosa Valley, not in Las Vegas.  

Nye County Commissioner Lorinda Wichman told the Pahrump Valley Times they were misled by Acres Cultivation to believe that the growing would take place on the Amargosa Valley property, creating jobs and tax revenue for the struggling county.

Acres Medical, owner of Acres Cultivation, has a 37-acre property with 74 acre feet of water in Amargosa Valley. The property located on Anvil Road previously housed a tree farm, according to the Valley Times.

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The Nye County Board of County Commissioners last year granted a special-use permit based on an approved water management plan by the Nye County Water District. Acres Cultivation's water management plan stated that a maximum total of 9,000 to 18,000 gallons per day would be used to grow marijuana.

"There were no provisions in the water conservation plan from letting them take the water out of Nye County," Browne told KNPR.

So, what’s next in the pot water wars? 

Acres Cultivation is expected to give the Amargosa Valley Town Council an update on their plans at the council's next meeting on April 23. Also, the company needs to apply for a "place of use" permit before it can transport water from one place to another.

The Pahrump Valley Times reported Acres Cultivation has not applied for that permit.


Lillian Browne, reporter, Pahrump Valley Times

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