June 2 is the date set by County Commissioners for a public hearing on a county ordinance to ban licenses and permits for businesses that sell medical marijuana in Lincoln County.
District Attorney Daniel Hooge had prepared two ordinances to be submitted for introduction. One to impose a six-month moratorium on making a decision, and the other to completely prohibit the growth of marijuana legally in the county.
Commissioners chose to go with the ordinance to prohibit, and set a public hearing for June 2 at 11 a.m. in the council chambers, downstairs in the courthouse. The meeting could be moved to the main courtroom, if necessary.
Commissioner Paul Mathews said he is under the impression certain people in the Nevada legislature are “driving real hard toward legalized recreational marijuana within the state of Nevada.”
The proposed ordinance reads in part, “An ordinance amending the Lincoln County Code regarding the prohibition of medical marijuana establishments as a matter of land use throughout the unincorporated areas of Lincoln County and other matters properly related hereto.”
Hooge said the ordinance does not cover the City of Caliente, which may choose to come up with their own ordinance. Mayor Stana Hurlburt told the Record later, the city has made no decision of their own at this time.
“We haven’t discussed it at all,” she said. “No one has approached me at all about wanting to open a dispensary here. The question has not come up. We’re not exactly farm country here.”
Commissioner vice-chairman Kevin Phillips was asked what about a person in Lincoln County with a certified medical marijuana need? He said any person in the state of Nevada can apply and obtain a personal medical marijuana card that enables them to go anywhere in the state where there is a bonafide dispensary (or in any other state if the card is recognized there). Clark County, for example, recently approved to allow 40 dispensing facilities.
Mathews mentioned a point he thinks may not have been considered too much yet. “Where can the sellers bank their money? Banks are prohibited from taking drug money.”
Commissioners had talked earlier about just declaring a six-month moratorium on issuing licenses and permits, but decided to go with a complete ban.
Commissioner Adam Katschke said he thinks, “The majority of people in our county, if they spoke up, would want nothing to do with it.”
Asked if he had any idea of how many people in Lincoln County are in favor of permitting medical marijuana, Phillips said, “We’re about to find out.”