County Commission to hear from medical marijuana applicants - 8 News NOW

County Commission to hear from medical marijuana applicants

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LAS VEGAS - Clark County commissioners will begin a series of public hearings Wednesday on medical marijuana.

For the next three days, companies applying for dispensary licenses will go before county leaders to make their case.

Front runners for the 18 medical marijuana business licenses could emerge as soon as Friday. This will be the last round of public hearings before commissioners make their decision.

Eighty one companies are in the running to become medical marijuana business owners. Each group will receive six minutes to persuade county leaders and the public why they deserve one of these coveted permits. Commissioners will then have time to ask questions of the applicants and hear comments from the public.

Some well-known politicians, physicians and business owners are applying for the permits. While many of the applicants are locally based, some come from other states.

One of the most recognizable applicants is the Greenspun Corporation, which owns the Las Vegas Sun and Vegas.com.

Another notable applicant is Oscar Goodman, Jr. - the son of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman. Goodman, Jr. is a doctor who is partnering with other medical professionals and business owners.

Adam Sternberg works with Compassion Nevada Consulting, a local medical marijuana advocacy group. He says he has been approached by several applicants. He says some of the people who applied expressed concerns about the big names under consideration.

"These bigger companies and conglomerates are starting to make the little mom and pops feel like they don't have a chance at participating in this," he said.

The county will likely seek applicants with ties to the local community. Commissioner Steve Sisolak says he spent endless hours reviewing applications.

“We've got to meet them over the course of these meetings,” he said. “There are some applications that are really, really, I think have a lot to offer. I mean they've got a plan in place. I don't want to specify anybody individually until I give all a chance to come and make their presentation."

The cost to apply is not cheap. The county application costs $5,000. The state application costs $30,000. Each applicant must have $250,000 in capital and own or lease a business location. Each business must also have a full-time physician on staff. The I-Team reported several corporations hired paid lobbyists to improve their chances of winning permits. The lobbyists cost as much as $100,000.

The public hearings start Wednesday at 12 p.m. at the Clark County Government Center. Commissioners encourage the community to attend. The meetings will take place for three days.

The state must also sign off on the approved businesses. State officials will hold their own application process which begins August 5.

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