Lyon County bans cannabis dispensaries

Listen to the story

Lyon County bans cannabis dispensaries

Residents of Lyon County, who would like to take advantage of new legislation regulating medical marijuana dispensaries, will have to look elsewhere. Lyon County Commissioners recently banned them in the unincorporated areas of the county.

It's a zoning ordinance that prohibits marijuana establishments, such as dispensaries or labs.

Jeff Page, who's the Lyon County Mangaer, says cutbacks in staff due to the recession have left them stretched thin as it is.

"If you're going to have them, you have to plan and zone them appropriately so they are far enough from schools, churches all those kinds of things, which kind of puts them out in the middle of nowhere. And now we don't have the ability to provide the necessary protection to those facilities because they're out in the middle of nowhere."

Many local governments are still sorting out how they'll handle this issue in advance of April 1st when the state will release its regulations.

Las Vegas has put a temporary moratorium on marijuana establishments; Reno says it will wait to decide; and Storey County passed a similar ban as Lyon's in the mid 2000s.

Some have criticized Lyon County for allowing facilities like brothels and not marijuana dispensaries, but Page says the two are not interchangeable.

"We're not dealing with controlled substances. We're dealing with consenting adults who are doing a business transaction. We are not dealing with a drug."

While the county may lose out on some revenue from sales, only about 3,600 Nevadans currently have a medical marijuana card. Page says the cost of securing the facilities would outweigh any possible revenue.