Planning Commission wants Carson residents’ stance on marijuana stores

Matt and Bruce Robinson, representatives from Qualcan, advocated for adding at least one additional marijuana retail store to Carson City at 5100 S. Carson St.

Matt and Bruce Robinson, representatives from Qualcan, advocated for adding at least one additional marijuana retail store to Carson City at 5100 S. Carson St.
Photo by Faith Evans.

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The Planning Commission is considering making a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to allow two more marijuana retail stores in Carson City. But the commission couldn’t make a decision Wednesday night, saying they were hoping for more public participation on the issue.
“I don’t think we have a good feel for what the community feels,” said Commissioner Teri Preston.
The commission agreed to bring back the issue at its July 27 meeting in the hopes that more Carson City residents would submit public comment.
The applicant who brought the agenda item, Qualcan, is a cannabis company based in Las Vegas. Representatives Matt and Bruce Robinson said that Qualcan already has a site and a special use permit application ready if the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors allow at least one more retail cannabis store in Carson City. Their site is located on 5100 S. Carson St. near the intersection of Highway 50 and the 395.
Per state law, Carson City is allowed to have up to four marijuana establishments, but the Board of Supervisors has written the Carson City Municipal Code to only allow for two.
Will Adler, a representative for RISE and Sierra Well, the two cannabis suppliers currently established in Carson City, came to speak against the proposal. He said his clients were told Carson City would not allow additional cannabis stores, and he claimed that there is not consumer demand for more marijuana suppliers.
The Planning Commission expressed more concern over the economic advantage that Qualcan would have if they recommended a code rewrite. Qualcan initially applied to allow for just one more retail cannabis store.
“My stance is, I don’t like protectionist policies that only allow certain people to have economic advantage,” said commission Chair Jay Wiggins. “There’s one applicant (Qualcan), he’s ready with his special use permit, and he’s changing the regulations and ordinance.”
He said that recommending two more retail cannabis stores rather than one would level the playing field for any additional applicants.
Without taking an official vote, the commission determined that four of them were in favor of lifting the municipal code restriction and allowing four total marijuana establishments, and three were in favor of leaving the code untouched, allowing only two marijuana establishments.
“The community – they’re not here. They would be if they were really concerned about this,” Commissioner Nathaniel Killgore said, gesturing to an audience of mostly city staff, cannabis industry representatives, and media. He said residents only speak out on agenda items that they disagree with.
Community Development Director Hope Sullivan critiqued his assessment. She said that she sees more public comment for site-specific projects, not text amendments.
“(Residents) may not have personalized it like they would if they got notice of a physical construction site next to their house,” she said.
The commissioners voted 6-1 to table the matter for their next meeting, hoping it will draw a larger audience.
Commissioner Richard Perry voted against the motion, saying the municipal code restrictions should remain unchanged.
The commission also held a vote to recommend that the Board of Supervisors allow curbside pickup of cannabis products.
The supervisors considered the issue at a meeting nine months ago, initially presented as an ordinance banning curbside pickup of cannabis products.
Mayor Lori Bagwell was in favor of the blanket ban, but the other board members outnumbered her. The majority agreed that there are ample safety measures in place for curbside pickup, and they expressed interest in bringing back an ordinance allowing it with restrictions in place.
The Planning Commission agreed with that assessment and recommended an ordinance allowing curbside pickup. However, the commission did not take a vote on whether to allow drive-through pickup of marijuana products.
To provide public comment to the Planning Commission, email To provide public comment to the Board of Supervisors, email


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