Recreational pot: Douglas County planners vote to outlaw establishments | SierraSun.com

Recreational pot: Douglas County planners vote to outlaw establishments

Amy Alonzo
aalonzo@recordcourier.com
A marijuana plant grown in Mendocino, Calif.
Courtesy photo

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Nev. — Marijuana establishments do not have a place in Douglas County, the planning commission decided earlier this week.

Without any discussion, the commission unanimously approved an amendment Tuesday that prohibits marijuana establishments in all Douglas County zoning districts — including those on the southwest shores of Lake Tahoe.

“Lets just get it out there, we’re not talking about marijuana use, we’re not talking about marijuana consumption, we’re not talking about possession. This is about marijuana establishments,” Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Gregory told the panel.

The amendment also adds a definition for “marijuana establishment” to include cultivation, testing, product manufacturing and distribution facilities, as well as retail dispensaries.

Douglas County residents in November rejected Nevada ballot Question 2, also known as the Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative, by more than 4,000 votes.

The ballot question was approved state-wide by 99,000 votes.

Under Question 2, Douglas County is permitted two marijuana retail establishments. Nearby Carson City is allowed four establishments and Washoe County is allowed upward of 20.

In terms of Washoe County, in the summer of the 2016, a medical marijuana dispensary opened in Incline Village called NuLeaf NV.

Although Douglas County commissioners didn’t offer any comment on the topic Tuesday, several people spoke in favor of the text amendment, including Cheryl Bricker, executive director for the Partnership of Community Resources.

“There’s research that shows that an individual who has used marijuana within the last 30 days, at least once, starting at age 14, maybe by age 21 or 25, they’re not interested in going to college, they’ve dropped out, they’re not interested in working real hard,” she said.

Just one person spoke against the amendment — Robert Fehskens, co-owner of High Sierra Cannabis in Zephyr Cove at Lake Tahoe.

Fehskens and two business partners formed High Sierra Cannabis in November with hopes that an ordinance would support a recreational dispensary in Stateline.

“At a bare minimum, I think we really need to take a strong look at having a test market,” he said. “I think we have a lot to look at here before we make a rash decision.”

The matter will next go before Douglas County commissioners for discussion.

Across the state line, the town of Truckee is in the middle of hosting several community workshops about possible establishments and the future of legal marijuana, following passage of Proposition 64 by California voters in November.

Further, El Dorado County is just starting discussions addressing recreational marijuana. Supervisors have made it clear they want to hear from as many stakeholders as possible, Supervisor Sue Novasel told the Tahoe Daily Tribune.