By Dave Maxwell
Caselton resident Russell Tracy has asked the Board of County Commissioners to repeal County Ordinance 2014-03 regarding the prohibition of medical marijuana growing facilities within the county. He would like to get one started.
Commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance in 2014 not to allow medical marijuana growing facilities in the county.
At the Aug. 7 commission meeting, Tracy had requested the item be placed on the next agenda for discussion. However, at the Aug. 21 meeting, he was not present. No reason was given for his absence.
With Tracy absent, commissioners discussed the item but took no action. None of the board members favor a repeal. Commissioner Brackenbury said it would probably eventually go from medical to recreational. “This is just a step to get it to recreational.”
District Attorney Daniel Hooge said the 2014 ordinance “only addressed medical marijuana because recreational marijuana was not legal at the time.” However, he felt the ordinance “still applies for everything. This only concerns zoning within the county.”
County Water District Manager Wade Poulsen said he had spoken recently with State Senator Pete Goicoechea, who represents Lincoln County, and mentioned, “If Lincoln County were to receive any of the tax dollars that came from recreational marijuana, the current ordinance would have to be reviewed and likely, changed. Poulsen said Goicoechea explained, “As it is now, with the county’s existing ordinance, the county would not be eligible to receive any of the tax dollars from the recreational sales.”
Commissioner Varlin Higbee said Lincoln County would not likely receive tax dollars from the sales anyway if the ordinance were to be repealed. “It would have to go through the state, and because, as most of the representation from the southern part of Nevada comes from Clark County, they are going to see to it that the money stays in Clark County.”
Tracy, when he appeared before the Board on Aug. 7, said, “This would be a benefit to the county, and I am offering a lot of help.” He felt it was an issue that should be decided by the people.
At the same time, Tracy thought the district attorney should formulate “an ordinance that works for the county,” and he would be willing to be part of an advisory board, “to help this thing move along in the county’s best interest.”
However, Tracy’s proposal is not listed as an action item on the Sept. 5 commission agenda.