The first medical marijuana dispensary in Nevada is yet to open, but the lawsuits are already flying as applicants jockey for a starting position in the state’s green gold rush.
GB Sciences Nevada LLC, a company that won city approval for a Las Vegas dispensary but missed the cut on state licensing, has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s rankings. The state also faces a lawsuit from seven dispensary applicants hoping to open in unincorporated Clark County who gained county approval but not state approval.
Industry observers say the lawsuits won’t stop the medical marijuana boom, but deal a setback that will slow the expansion of the industry at a critical juncture.
Much is at stake for Nevada’s would-be medical pot barons: Entry into the lucrative field is limited and competitive, and the possibility of legalized recreational use could fuel the industry’s future growth.
The Nevada industry’s entry into the courtroom mirrors what has happened elsewhere in the United States as medical marijuana started, including neighboring Arizona.
“My opinion is it’s not good for the industry,” said John Laub, president of the Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association, of the lawsuits. “I’m not happy with it.”
On Friday, lawyers for the seven applicants who won approval from Clark County but not the state asked a judge to order the state to reconsider.