Lincoln County’s ordinance against growing and selling marijuana within the county needs to be updated.

At the Jan. 7 county commission meeting, District Attorney Dylan Frehner said his office recently received a letter from the state informing them that a person has “filed an application for a marijuana license within Lincoln County.”

A discussion of the issue is on the agenda for the county commission meeting Jan. 22. The meeting is open to the public.

Frehner said the county’s current ordinance against growing and selling “was revisited a year ago, at which time the commission board extended the ordinance for a six-month period, to July 2018. It has not been extended since then and is no longer a moratorium.”

A moratorium is a temporary prohibition of an activity.

Frehner asked that the item be put on the next meeting agenda and explained the reason for the moratorium in January 2018 “was for legal research to determine what was legal or not and we have been looking into that.”

He said the City of Caliente has recently issued licenses to an applicant for “cultivation and production facilities.”

Newly appointed commission chair Varlin Higbee later told the Record, “We’ll discuss at that time, but I don’t think the feeling of the board has changed and I think we will extend the moratorium.”

He noted, “The state is still writing policy on the legalized marijuana issue, having encountered a number of problems in various places and dispensaries, including Las Vegas, requiring examination and revision of policies, so we wanted to hold back to see how it all was going to flush out and they get something that works and is settled.”

He added, “Therefore, if we have a moratorium in place, we can adjust our existing county ordinance.”

When recreational marijuana was legalized in Nevada, Jan. 1, 2017, the state allowed counties the right to determine whether they would allow cultivation and sale.

The board of commissioners at the time, all of whom are still serving on the board, except for Bevin Lister who joined the board this year, created an ordinance prohibiting the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana within Lincoln County.

Higbee said what the moratorium does is “back that ordinance up.”