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Proposed bill to ban all types of marijuana establishments in city on Tuesday’s council agenda

City Council will weigh in on allowing marijuana establishments in Boulder City at its next meeting on Tuesday, and some residents think allowing research and testing facilities for the drug could be beneficial.

On May 9, the council introduced a bill that could prohibit other marijuana establishments in Boulder City. Currently, it prohibits medical marijuana establishments. Because of new state legislation allowing the use of recreational marijuana, Boulder City is considering extending its prohibition, which would include research and testing facilities.

“I think the question is do we continue that for recreational?” said Boulder City Mayor Rod Woodbury on Monday during a segment on KLAS-TV’s Monday with the Mayors. “Of course, you have the right to use it, but we’ll hear all the arguments and make our decision.”

The bill will be considered at the next council meeting on May 23.

At the bill’s introduction, resident James Adams told the council he felt it was foolish to ban all forms of industry within the field, specifically testing and researching.

“I believe it is safe to say that the majority of Nevada will be ‘opening up shop’ as it were,” he said. “The state government has mandated that all related products require testing and certification. This means that testing and research facilities are coming. While many have said if an individual would like to purchase any THC- (chemical compound in cannabis) related product, they can simply go over the hill, the same would be true for jobs and industry if we continue prohibition.

“These are not drug dealers or stoners who work at these testing facilities,” he added. “They are skilled workers in a young industry often headed by young entrepreneurs. As the city continues its quest to attract young families, it seems to me relaxing some restrictions on this industry stands to benefit our community.”

Adams also shared that many people use marijuana for pain management and treatment for Parkinson’s disease and cancer, and by depriving them of those services in town, they city is inadvertently telling them they should not be afforded the same services given to those who use prescription drugs for their treatment.

Boulder City resident Rebecca Lee said she thinks allowing marijuana establishments in Boulder City could be beneficial.

“If the community sends a message that they are supportive of the industry, applications to absorb existing real estate will flood in,” she said. “Jobs will be created, from an executive level down … It’s not a far reach to see the opportunity to bring a quality of life for local professionals to Boulder City, that could work close to home and pull in a metropolitan executive or management or entry level of income and live close to home; this opportunity for the community is substantial and exciting.”

Some city officials also think that allowing marijuana research and testing facilities in town should be considered.

Planning Commissioner Jim Giannosa said at the commissioners’ meeting in April that he was concerned about the ramifications of either approving or denying the recreational establishments, specifically in terms of tax revenue or license fees.

“We (are) just clean, green Boulder City, blow this under the carpet. Let’s get it on,” he said. “I’m OK with that, but I sure would like to know that if the state is collecting $300 million worth of taxes, and we don’t participate, and we don’t get our 3 percent on that. That might be an argument or discussion to have and hear from people and how they feel about it.”

At that meeting, in a 4 to 3 vote, the Planning Commission recommended that City Council deny the bill prohibiting marijuana establishments in order to allow for that discussion.

Residents also voiced their opinions about potential benefits and drawbacks, suggesting research and testing facilities could be a good low-impact development option for the city that would not affect the quality of life too much, or that any type of marijuana establishment might promote increased drug use.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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