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Clark County seeks opinion on drive-thru service at cannabis dispensaries

Updated April 7, 2020 - 4:35 pm

Deemed essential by the state, cannabis dispensaries may continue to deliver to customers through the coronavirus emergency, but Clark County officials want to know: Might they be able to offer drive-thru services, too?

The county commission agreed Tuesday to confer with the state attorney general’s office on whether Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mandate last month could be modified, a suggestion raised by Commissioner Jim Gibson, who said he has been approached by marijuana licensees about it.

“I think it’s important, since they are an essential business, that we consider also a temporary solution for them,” Gibson said.

When Sisolak ordered nonessential businesses to close in an escalating effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, he allowed all 68 of the state’s dispensaries to remain open under a delivery-only model.

In unincorporated Clark County, where there are 27 licensed marijuana dispensaries/retail stores, Gibson is now advocating for broadening those business operations to drive-thru service, pointing to how establishments have invested millions of dollars and represent an important tax base for the county.

Gibson also requested the county investigate the process for handling the expanded service at the same time as it reached out to the state.

“Because we’re in the emergency now, and we’re dependent upon the revenues, (businesses are) dependent upon the sales,” he said. “There are a lot of people that are very nervous about things, and this does seem like an appropriate approach.”

County Manager Yolanda King has told employees the county expects to lose over $1 billion in revenue over the next 12 to 18 months, including at University Medical Center and McCarran International Airport.

Retired fire employees wanted

The Commission also passed a resolution declaring a critical labor shortage of county fire department personnel who have urban search and rescue specialist qualifications, a necessary step in state law in order to rehire retired public employees to fill a position without jeopardizing their retirement benefits.

Fire Chief John Steinbeck told the Review-Journal last week that he hoped to have commitments from as many as 70 retired county fire department employees to return to duty in the event that current personnel become sick with COVID-19.

Due to similar pressures faced by other governments and private agencies, county officials say they cannot simply borrow help elsewhere.

Golden Knights banners

And county lawmakers agreed to enter negotiations with the Vegas Golden Knights on a deal to install and maintain street banners on county-owned property including streetlight poles. When completed, the deal will detail the locations and content of the banners.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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