The 10 day period to apply for a medical marijuana license opened Tuesday.
State Health Officer Tracey Green said applications will be accepted on weekdays through Aug. 18. She said she expects more than 400 applications for licensing in the four categories: dispensaries, cultivation facilities, producers of edibles and infused products and testing labs.
Only the dispensaries are limited by the law with a specific number permitted in each of Nevada’s 17 counties. A total of 66 dispensaries are allowed statewide, most of them in Clark and Washoe counties. After that, two are allowed in Carson City and one in each of the remaining 14 counties.
She said as of late morning, about 20 applications had been received.
Chad Westom, bureau chief of the medical marijuana program, said each application will be reviewed by five different three-member panels with expertise in different areas from financial resources and experience to security/transportation plans, the business and operating plan and education.
Those different panels will then score each applicant and rank them, issuing provisional licenses to the top scoring applicants. With the dispensaries, the number permitted in each county will be given provisional licenses. That means the top two applicants in Carson City would receive a provisional license.
Green said what happens after that will be up to the local governments which will have the final say on zoning, hours of operation and other issues and will actually issue the business licenses for the different types of operations.
If a county rejects a given applicant, the next highest scoring applicant moves up.
The state is collecting a $5,000 fee from each applicant. Each dispensary applicant must pay an additional $30,000 to receive the provisional license.
The process is designed to actually make marijuana available for purchase to holders of valid medical marijuana cards. But it doesn’t prevent individuals from growing their own. To be licensed to grow their own, a cardholder pays a $100 licensing fee to the state and Westom said there are a number of people who have been licensed that way for a decade now.