CARSON CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Hundreds of hopefuls are now waiting to see if they are selected to be part of Nevada’s medical marijuana business. Monday concluded the 10-day application period for medical marijuana establishments in the Silver State.
More than 370 people applied for a state license, but officials expect that number to go up once every last-minute candidate has been processed. The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health said overall, Nevada’s first-ever application process went very smooth. "We’ve had systems in place to receive the applications quickly, the lines have not been very long and we've been moving the information," said Medical Marijuana Bureau Chief Chad Westom.
Officials spent the last week and a half collecting medical marijuana establishment applications. Hundreds of hopefuls turned in bids for dispensaries and cultivation, processing and testing facilities. "We are looking forward to seeing the patients who are suffering and some of them having debilitating conditions get their medicine to be alleviated from their symptoms," said Westom.
66 dispensaries are allowed in Nevada, with 10 in Washoe County. Westom said a majority of applications are from Southern Nevada. "That's where the population base is and that’s where most of the patients will be."
The next step is for applicants to be scored and ranked by November 3. But for a provisional license to be issued, it will up to local governments. "It’s up to the local governments if they support the provisional certificates we're going to issue or not, in which case we'll let them know what the next ranked establishment is."
Westom said the first Nevada dispensary could open early next year. "Well that's pending on a lot of things, but approvals at the local level, but it’s feasible."
Last week, Washoe County Commissioners requested the state increase the number of medical marijuana dispensary allocations to Reno and Washoe County. Westom said the state supports that request.