The city of Sparks has asked a district court judge to stay his order to release the names of medical marijuana business license holders to give the city time to appeal the ruling to the Nevada Supreme Court.
Last month, District Court Judge Scott Freeman ruled in favor of the Reno Gazette-Journal, which sued Sparks under the Nevada Public Records law to release the names of the business licenses for reporting purposes. The newspaper twice requested the public documents and were given copies of the licenses with the names of the licenses holders redacted.
In the city’s motion for a stay, Sparks lawyers renewed their argument that a law granting marijuana establishment owners confidentiality in state-level documents applies to city licenses as well. The city also argued the newspaper did not follow proper legal procedure for challenging a state regulation granting the confidentiality by not naming the state of Nevada in its lawsuit.
“Respectfully, the Sparks City Attorney’s office believes the judge’s decision was flawed,” spokesman Adam Mayberry said. “We believe the decision has further ramifications than just the reported circumstances, thus have appealed the decision.”
In his ruling, Freeman found that no state law compels the city to redact the name of the license holders from city documents. He ordered the unredacted documents be released.
Sparks argued it would render its appeal moot and would cause irreparable harm to the license holders, whose “identities once disclosed are forever public.”
ELKO, Nev. (AP) — Elko is extending its ban on medical marijuana shops despite comments from residents who want it lifted.
The Elko Daily Free Press reports the only councilmember to vote no on the ban noted that about 60 percent of Elko voters cast ballots in favor of Nevada’s medical marijuana initiative.
Councilman John Patrick Rice said the city is depriving itself of revenue and keeping a service from residents.
Councilwoman Mandy Simons was among the four in favor of the ban and noted that cannabis possession is still illegal under federal law.
Mother Jackie Melton spoke at the meeting in favor of medical marijuana shops in Elko. She said she drives to Reno to get medicine for her daughter, who is autistic and often waves her arms and pulls her hair.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV)–Silver State Relief, Nevada’s first medical marijuana dispensary, opened its doors on Friday, July 31st. While this marks a major milestone, News 4 learned it is taking longer to get a medical marijuana card. State law requires the division overseeing the program to issue a card within 30 days, but Deputy Director Laura Freed said right now the wait is averaging 40 to 45 days. She said, “We are a bit above that statuatory 30 days right now because of the volume of new applicants as well as folks getting their annual renewals.”
She said they are working to reduce the wait time to meet the 30 day requirement, however; that might present a few challenges. Silver State Relief is the first of what will be several dispensaries to open in the next few months. Freed said, “We expect with the opening of this first dispensary as well as those that are working to come online, we expect to see a surge in new demand.” Part of the problem is demand once the dispensaries are open is unknown. What we know so far is, according to state records in January of 2014, there were nearly 5,000 card holders in the Nevada. That number in June of 2015 is nearly 10,000 or double what it was a little more than a year ago.
Increasing staff to meet demand would solve the problem, however; another factor is there is uncertainty about the program’s future. In 2016, recreational use of medical marijuana will appear on Nevada’s ballot. If voters approve it, the fate of Nevada’s medical marijuana program might be impacted. Freed said, “We know in Colorado, they are considering doing away with the medical program because the recreational market consumed it, taking it over.” Freed said if that happens, it will open a whole new round of public policy debates in Nevada. This is a story we will continue to monitor. We will also continue to ask questions about wait times.
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas medical marijuana patient who was accused of preparing to sell drugs has been acquitted of two felony drug charges.
65-year-old Stephen Ficano was arrested in October 2012 after police watched him grow marijuana openly in his backyard.
Police say they found 67 marijuana plants, approximately 24 pounds of marijuana, 26 guns and nearly $52,000 in cash when he consented to the search of his home. At the time, medical marijuana patients in Nevada were legally allowed to have up to seven plants and one ounce of marijuana.
Dr. Ivan Goldsmith gave Ficano a waiver stating that the man’s condition required a larger quantity of the drug.
The Clark County District Attorney says a medical waiver does not relieve a patient from legal responsibility.