Douglas County Planning Commission’s zoning amendment snuffs marijuana
March 15, 2017
Marijuana establishments do not have a place in Douglas County, the planning commission decided Tuesday.
Without any discussion, the commission unanimously approved an amendment that prohibits marijuana establishments in all Douglas County zoning districts.
"Lets just get it out there, we're not talking about marijuana use, we're not talking about marijuana consumption, we're not talking about possession. This is about marijuana establishments," Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Gregory told the panel.
The amendment also adds a definition for "marijuana establishment" to include cultivation, testing, product manufacturing and distribution facilities, as well as retail dispensaries.
Douglas County residents in November rejected Nevada ballot Question 2, also known as the Marijuana Act, by more than 4,000 votes. The ballot question was approved state-wide by 99,000 votes.
Under Question 2, Douglas County is permitted two marijuana retail establishments. Nearby Carson City is allowed four establishments and Washoe County is allowed upward of 20.
The county currently prohibits all medical marijuana establishments. The closest medical dispensary is in Carson City on Clearview Drive. It opened in fall of 2016.
Although commissioners didn't offer any comment on the topic, several people spoke in favor of the text amendment, including Cheryl Bricker, executive director for the Partnership of Community Resources.
"There's research that shows that an individual who has used marijuana within the last 30 days, at least once, starting at age 14, maybe by age 21 or 25, they're not interested in going to college, they've dropped out, they're not interested in working real hard," she said.
Just one person spoke against the amendment — Robert Fehskens, co-owner of High Sierra Cannabis in Zephyr Cove. Fehskens and two business partners formed High Sierra Cannabis in November with hopes that an ordinance would support a recreational dispensary in Stateline.
"At a bare minimum, I think we really need to take a strong look at having a test market," he said. "I think we have a lot to look at here before we make a rash decision."
The matter will next go before county commissioners for discussion.