School funds get high: Henderson scores pot cash

Marijuana suppliers in Las Vegas are racing to stock dispensary shelves just days out from the July 1 start of recreational sales (Nathan O'Neal | KSNV)

Nevada took a gamble on recreational marijuana and it’s going to pay off big time for schools in Henderson.

The Henderson City Council voted Tuesday night to put money from pot shop sales towards funding 39 public schools in Henderson.

“I think it’s great,” said Armen Yemenidjin, founder and CEO of Essence Cannabis Dispensary in Henderson.

Yemenidjin has been giving Henderson a taste of Nevada’s green rush and now, some of the money he makes will be going to nearby schools.

"Nevada, for everything we have to offer, and for who we are as a state, I think the one area we lack in, is education,” he explained.

There are no set numbers for how much money the schools will receive. It depends on how much marijuana the pot shops in Henderson sell.

RELATED | You can now buy recreational marijuana in Henderson

The money will come from license fees at businesses, which are based on 3-percent of gross revenues from all Henderson recreational marijuana sales. Around 30-percent of those fees would go to public schools in Henderson.

The city projects fiscal year 2018 will bring in revenues up to $1 million. That means about $300,000 will go to Henderson schools.

Parents say they’re pleased.

"Money is money. As long as it’s going towards the kids, I mean, hey, whatever you do in your spare time is on you,” said David Nowak.

"Anything that goes towards the education like supplies, playing equipment, I’m happy. I’m really happy. It’s awesome,” said Shika Narayan.

The Henderson Community Education Advisory Board will help decide how the money is spent.

They will talk to principals and see what they need and then make recommendations to the Henderson City Council, which will have final say.

Richard Derrick is on the Advisory Board. He’s also the Assistant City Manager for Henderson. He said the funds could go to a number of programs, supplies, and classroom tools.

“Technology is important to differentiate instruction, after-school tutoring is another one that is another important piece, and just helping students come to class,“ said Derrick.

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