A legal battle over marijuana dispensary licenses continues throughout the state of Nevada.
A group of nearly a dozen dispensaries who were denied licenses for new dispensaries have filed an injunction against the state.
Two weeks ago, attorneys for 11 dispensaries became the latest cannabis businesses to sue the Nevada Department of Taxation over the expansion of the state’s recreational marijuana industry. The 47-page motion asks for a judge to, among other things, prohibit the state from issuing the additional 61 licenses , toss out the permanent regulations that were adopted to govern the marijuana program, and return the rules governing the industry to the way they were under the temporary regulations used to get the state’s recreational marijuana program up and running.
Additionally, the plaintiffs are asking a judge to compel the department to disclose application and scoring information, along with identities of the temporary staff used to evaluate license applications and disclose all criteria used to score the applications.
“The Department of Taxation has been silent; it’s been crickets from them,” said John Ritter, the Grove Dispensary. “So we have no other way to figure out exactly what happened here, except through the courts.”
“They won’t discuss the review process, they won’t discuss the criteria applied,” said Vincent Savarese, partner, GCMAS Law. “They allow themselves, in their regulation, to apply any criteria they deem relevant – none of this is within the cabinet, delimited authority given to them by the legislature.”
Of the 61 conditional licenses granted by the state, nearly two-thirds went to just six applicants. That distribution is just one of the central issues in the lawsuit.
A spokesperson with the Department of Taxation said the agency does not comment on pending litigation, but in a recent statement told 8 News NOW that it believes this has been a fair and transparent process to the extent current regulations and state laws allow them to disclose information.