The medical marijuana industry is ramping up in Nevada. Medical marijuana dispensaries will start popping up all over Nevada by the end of the year according to media reports. The City of Reno had a moratorium in place that prevented medical marijuana businesses from opening inside Reno city limits, but that was lifted this week by the Reno City Council. Per News 4:
In a 4-1 vote on Wednesday, the Council approved an ordinance to amend the Reno Municipal Code to initiate the allowance of Medical Marijuana Establishments within the City of Reno under certain criteria. The Planning Commission recommended that hours of operation should be determined by the underlying zoning, with the option for the Council to further restrict hours of operation.
There are numerous rules that will determine where medical marijuana businesses will be allowed to open in Reno. Medical marijuana businesses cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a public or private school, a preschool, or within 300 feet of a community center. The measurement will be from the front door of the facility to the property line of the school or community center. Previously the rule was from property line to property line, but that was amended by the Reno City Council along with the lifting of the moratorium.
Zoning rules are a necessary evil in my opinion. On one hand, they are needed to appease community members who are leary of seeing medical marijuana dispensaries opening on every corner. And I understand that people want to keep them a reasonable distance away from schools. However, all one needs to do to create a de facto ban on medical marijuana businesses is to open small community centers in strategic parts of town where schools aren’t located, in conjunction with opening small private schools and preschools in other parts of the city. Pretty soon, the buffer zones around them make it impossible to have a medical marijuana dispensary that complies with the rules, which results in a ban without having to say there is a ban. Hopefully that doesn’t happen in Reno, or anywhere in Nevada.