RENO — A legal battle is brewing over the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries in Washoe County.
A dispensary filed a lawsuit saying that the state’s ranking system undermines a provision intended to guard against monopolies.
Lawyers for Washoe Dispensary LLC said that Tryke Companies Reno LLC should not be awarded two licenses — one in Sparks and one in unincorporated Washoe County. They say doing so breaks a law limiting any one business to 10 percent of the licenses in any jurisdiction.
They also challenge plans to issue three of the five licenses allowed in unincorporated Washoe County in north Lake Tahoe — in Incline Village and neighboring Crystal Bay.
The lawsuit says Nevada failed to follow the law requiring that local governments have the final say about where the dispensaries should be located.
Neither the state nor the county has responded. Assistant County Manager Kevin Schiller told the newspaper on Tuesday he had no comment.
Washoe County is allowed 10 dispensaries: three in Reno, two in Sparks, and five in unincorporated areas.
Washoe Dispensary filed for a license in the unincorporated Washoe Valley.
“Setting up three dispensaries in Incline Village/Crystal Bay is ridiculous,” said Shane Smith, a partner in Washoe Dispensary.
“Having three dispensaries in such close proximity to each other, and to the California state line, seems to indicate the state was either oblivious or catering to the idea of building a medical tourism industry at Tahoe centered around medical marijuana,” Smith said.
Brett Scolari, the attorney for Tryke Companies, said he hasn’t read the complaint yet and declined comment.