It has been a difficult couple of years for Joe LaMarca, owner of the Nevada medical marijuana dispensary Euphoria Wellness. Despite having worked on his shop for over a year, including construction completed, zoning permits received, inspections passed and required licenses acquired, the grand opening of Euphoria Wellness seems to keep getting pushed back again and again.
According to reports, the current issue surrounding the delay for medical marijuana dispensaries involves exactly how the shops actually acquire the product they are looking to sell. Currently, growing operations throughout the state of Nevada have just begun their production. And while marijuana does grow somewhat faster than other commercial crops, the harvest is not expected to be ready for commercial sale until later this summer.
This does not mean that LaMarca is out of options for receiving his cannabis for sale to qualified patients. Nevada state law currently contains a provision that allows for certain qualifying patients to grow and cultivate their own cannabis to be used to treat their personal ailments and diseases. And marijuana dispensaries are legally allowed to purchase this marijuana to be sold through them to other qualifying patients, so long as it passes the required tests and inspections.
However, the problem arises in a dispute over how much Clark County, where Euphoria Wellness is located in Nevada, will allow the patients to sell to the dispensaries. Currently, the regulations allow for qualifying patients to own up to 12 plants at a time for personal medical use, which can produce about 10-12 pounds of medical marijuana. When you take into account another state law provision that limits the amount of “usable marijuana” that a patient can have on their person to 2.5 ounces within a two-week period, things get confusing.
If the patients were to go into a dispensary to sell more than the legally allowed amount, they would simply be admitting guilty to breaking the possession law. And because the possession limit is so small of an amount, it’s already costing dispensaries like Euphoria Wellness more money than it should just to get their products on the shelves. Even if the product is bought through a qualified patient grower, the cannabis will still need to be lab tested for safety standards.
Overall, the current provisions and state laws that surround Nevada’s medical marijuana industry are the reason that the state’s patients are still without a regulated and tested source of medicine that they require. Until the state begins to make changes, or the expected cannabis crop finally comes in, it looks like the state may be waiting just a little bit longer.
Do you think the regulations for Nevada’s medical marijuana program make sense? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.