Carson City medical marijuana business fee hurdle cleared

Medical marijuana establishments will pay business license fees topping out at $25,000 in Carson City due to final action Thursday on an ordinance by the Board of Supervisors.

Voting 3-1 with Supervisor Jim Shirk dissenting and Mayor Robert Crowell gone, the board adopted the business licensing ordinance as the majority had earlier signaled it would despite Shirk’s desire to charge more. Shirk called the business license fees “extremely low.”

A testing laboratory for medical pot, if one located in Carson City, would have to pay $5,000. A facility to produce medical pot edibles or infused products would pay $15,000. A cultivation unit, also known as a grow facility, would pay $20,000, Dispensaries are set to pay the top amount at $25,000. Two dispensaries are allowed by state law in Carson City.

An additional ordinance provision requires anyone owning at least 5 percent or more of a Carson City medical marijuana establishment shall be named, with the percentage listed, with the information “a part of the standard business license application and (it) will be subject to public record review.”

A couple of weeks ago, about the same time the board voted 4-1 preliminary approval of the ordinance, Nevada’s State Health Division had received 11 applications for proposed dispensaries in Carson City. In addition, there were eight applications to grow medical marijuana in the capital city and four to produce edible medical pot products.

Altogether 519 applications to operate medical marijuana establishments across the state were received, with the bulk of them in Las Vegas-dominated Clark County.

In other action, the board in Thursday’s shorter-than-usual meeting engaged Sherman & Howard as bond counsel to Carson City in connection with the anticipated $13.6 million bond issue to finance various capital improvement projects, among them changes to Carson Street’s downtown business core streetscape. The downtown streetscape project’s conceptual design goes before the board Nov. 6 and bonds are expected to be issued in December.

The board approved a contract with Lumos & Associates to provide professional services for a wastewater reclamation facility project. The contract is for an amount not to exceed $158,000 to handle design services for drainage and roadway improvements on the east and west sides of the wastewater reclamation facility, as well as general site landscaping with emphases on the North 5th Street frontage area.

Also approved was final payment to Briggs Electric, Inc., and acceptance of the work involved as completed, for the Fuji Park electrical infrastructure project that cost a total of $112,175. The electrical upgrade for the park and fairgrounds preceded the Nevada 150 Fair, also known as the Nevada Sesquicentennial Fair, that was held last summer.

The abbreviated Board of Supervisors meeting also was shorter even than it seemed, given that it was recessed and then reconvened to hold an intervening session of the Board of Health. The health panel consists of the city’s governing board members and two others — Dr. Susan Pintar, Health Board chairwoman and city health officer, and Sheriff Ken Furlong.


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