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Planners vote in favor of medical marijuana dispensary ban

The Boulder City Planning Commission Wednesday voted in support of banning medical marijuana establishments in Boulder City.

The commission voted five to two in favor of a zoning ordinance banning the establishments, which include testing laboratories, cultivation facilities, facilities for the production of edible marijuana products or marijuana-infused products, and marijuana dispensaries.

The ordinance will be discussed and possibly approved by the City Council Tuesday, following a public hearing.

Commissioner Cokie Booth, a real estate agent, said she did not think the establishments would complement Boulder City’s reputation as a family-friendly community.

“I just don’t think it would be appropriate for Boulder City,” she said.

Commissioner Glen Leavitt said he went to school in San Francisco, where people were mugged “every week” outside of dispensaries.

“As long as I’ve lived here we’ve erred on the side of caution,” he said. “I just feel like we can take the most cautious extreme measure.”

Commissioner John Redlinger voted against the ordinance, saying City Attorney Dave Olsen’s report on the subject was not objective and that it was a “foregone conclusion” that the ordinance would be approved.

Olsen’s report contains numerous arguments against medical marijuana establishments and none in favor of them.

“I would appreciate a more objective report so I can consider it,” Redlinger said.

Commission Chairman Jim Giannosa, who voted against the ordinance, asked Olsen if there had been any discussion at all about the benefits of allowing dispensaries in Boulder City, including tax revenue. Olsen said there had been no such discussion.

“There are benefits to this,” Giannosa said. “The people I’ve seen die from cancer could have used some medical marijuana.”

Medical marijuana has been legal in Nevada since 2001 and patients are currently permitted to grow a limited number of marijuana plants for personal use.

However, on April 1 state law will begin permitting medical marijuana establishments, 40 in Clark County, where most patients will be required to purchase their marijuana. But if the patient lives more than 25 miles from a dispensary or the patient or caretaker is physically unable to travel to a dispensary, they will be permitted to grow as many as 12 marijuana plants for personal use.

There are 20 registered medical marijuana patients in Boulder City, according to Boulder City Police.

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