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Henderson's five dispensaries still can't sell recreational marijuana

The Henderson City Council voted six months ago to place a temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana sales. That could soon change. (Chad Graves/KSNV)

While Nevada launched legal recreational marijuana sales on July 1, existing medical dispensaries are still not allowed to sell recreational product within the City of Henderson.

Henderson city leaders approved a temporary moratorium on recreational sales roughly six months ago to give the state time to sort out the rules and regulations for the industry. However, over the next few weeks, Henderson city council members could consider lifting the moratorium and adopting new ordinances to govern recreational cannabis establishments.

Essence Dispensary, located near Sunset Road and Green Valley Parkway, is one of five dispensaries within Henderson City limits.

Essence CEO Armen Yemenidjian is hoping Henderson city leaders will drop the moratorium.

"The biggest point to get across is just because Henderson dispensaries don't sell recreationally all you're doing is hindering those businesses and just shifting that tax revenue to another municipality," said Yemenidjian.

RELATED LINK | Henderson hits pause on pot

Henderson Assistant City Manager Bristol Ellington said the city council could consider new ordinances allowing recreational sales as early as September 5.

"It's quite similar to the process that we went through with the adoption of ordinances of medical marijuana -- our city council wants to make sure we have a thorough process," said Ellington.

"For Henderson ... as we found out when we did our outreach with the residents, they weren't even aware these establishments existed within our jurisdiction ... We would want that to continue after retail sales so that they blend in with our community," Ellington continued.

At this point, Ellington says city leaders are not proposing any caps to the number of establishments in Henderson but would require them to serve both recreational customers and medical patients.

"It could not be just an independent free standing recreational facility," said Ellington.

As for Yemenidjian, he is hoping the recreational success of his two other stores in Southern Nevada will convince city leaders to make up their minds soon.

"The sooner the better," said Yemenidjian.

The earliest the City of Henderson could lift the moratorium on recreational marijuana sales is September 5 when the city could adopt new ordinances to regulate the dispensaries.

If ordinances are adopted, it could still take several months and a special permit application process before dispensaries would be officially approved to start selling recreational marijuana.

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