Reno City Council Delays Latest Marijuana Dispensary License
The Source Dispensary will have to wait awhile before it can open its doors, after the city council put discussions for its license on hold.
The Source Dispensary is ready to open in southeast Reno. It has surveillance cameras, layers of security, and access control. It has a conditional license from the state of Nevada but it is still waiting for a license from the city. The business will wait even longer, after the city council removed it from Wednesday's agenda.
"To get to the 99-yard line and be met with resistance was a little shocking today," Brandon Wiegand, General Manager of Nevada Organic Remedies said. "I think the most disheartening part is that we've made all this progress and now I'm left with not knowing where we go from here."
The delay stems from a lawsuit in Clark County. It questions whether the state issued its marijuana licenses in a fair way. Since Nevada Organic Remedies is based in Clark County, a judge's order prevents it from opening a new dispensary in Washoe County. City leaders say they want to let the legal system play out before they approve the license.
"It seemed premature to me to then process them through the city," Councilwoman Naomi Duerr, City of Reno said. "I would like to wait for the conclusion of that process. If she says 'Hey, it's totally fine', I am sure we will move forward with processing this license."
Wiegand expected to get the city license, then go through the final inspections to get the permanent license. Then, if the injunction is resolved, it could begin operating.
"If we had approval today, I think we are looking for some resolution on the injunction," Wiegand said. "If that had gone our direction, and I think we expect it to, we would have been able to open our doors early to late next week."
Will Adler is the principal of Silver State Government Relations. He says the city council's decision to remove the agenda from the meeting was unnecessary because there is no risk to the city. He says the temporary restraining order prevents the company from opening its new location, but does not prevent it from moving forward in the process, including its petition for a license from the city.
"For us, it's a serious delay because we can't open our doors," Adler said. "We can't be licensed but in reality, we just want to be vetted and be heard because we're ready. We would like to be here and we would like to be open."
Wiegand says the company is spending a lot of money in the meantime, but it won't have any new profits until they start selling its product.
"We have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in to the building itself," Wiegand said. "We have a staff of 30 employees that we've already hired, that are in the middle of being trained. We have purchase orders for this product."
Adler says the company has been working with staff since January to open the facility. The city granted a formal zoning verification letter in April. The state requires The Source Dispensary to open by December 4. Wiegand says the company is petitioning the state to extend that deadline, just in case litigation ties up the process past that date.
"I think we will be successful in the litigation," Wiegand said. "I think we'll be back. I hope it happens sooner than later."
Adler says it will be at least two weeks before the issue can go back onto the city's agenda. Duerr says she looks forward to discussions when the timing is right.
"I think within a month or two, a lot of this information will come together and we'll be able to make a much more informed decision," Duerr said.