Photo by Gracie Malley/Staff
The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services has begun to inform applicants of their provisional licenses to open medical cannabis locations in the state. The department has granted 371 awards total for various medical cannabis businesses from cultivation sites to labs designed for testing. It was reported that 182 applicants have been approved for production sites where cannabis can be legally grown, 117 licenses have been approved for production sites for cannabis-infused items and 17 licenses were granted for testing labs.
Although nearly 200 applications for licenses to open dispensaries were received, only 55 applicants received preliminary licenses due to county limits on the number of dispensaries allowed in each region. Some dispensaries will be stand-alone businesses, while others will grow and sell cannabis in the same location. Onsite consumption will not be allowed.
The Division of Public and Behavioral Health has posted limited information about specific locations in various counties as many applicants preferred for their information to remain confidential. A few businesses have waived confidentiality and have allowed their information to be posted. They include MediFarm, NuLeaf, Silver Sage Wellness LLC, Tryke Companies, NuVeda and MM Development Company, LLC.
Even though the state has granted preliminary licenses, all businesses must get approval from local officials before moving forward with their plans. Applicants will have 18 months to satisfy local government requirements and regulations before they will be given an official business license.
The state’s medical marijuana program will only serve patients with qualifying conditions that have received an explicit recommendation from a licensed physician. Approved conditions include cancer, glaucoma, post traumatic stress disorder, AIDS, Cachexia, seizures, muscle spasms and severe nausea and pain. According to Nevada Law, dispensaries could also honor out-of-state-cards as long as the state that issued the card had a registry in place and “allows the division and medical marijuana dispensaries in [Nevada] to access the database.”
Pam Graber, the education and information officer for the state’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health, is serious about making sure that the proposed establishments for selling cannabis are clear about their role in the upcoming change.
“These are ‘medical marijuana establishments.’ These will not be businesses that look like pot shops,” said Graber. “Unless you have a patient card, you are not allowed in. There will not be a ton of traffic. It is not recreational marijuana — it is for people who are really, really ill and need it to get through the day.”
Nevada approved medical marijuana in 2001.
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