Legal cannabis grudgingly comes to Elko County, Nevada – The Sierra Nevada Ally

A cannabis flower – photo: Brian Bahouth/the Ally

Nevada voters approved the state’s medical marijuana program in 2000, though the system of cultivation operations, processing facilities, and retail dispensaries did not become operational until 2015.

In 2016, Nevada voters legalized cannabis for recreational possession and use. Since January 1, 2017, anyone 21 years of age or older can legally purchase cannabis from one of more than 70 dispensaries located across the state.

Since 2017, in unincorporated parts of Elko County, there has been a ban on cannabis businesses, medical and adult use.

Three of Elko County’s incorporated cities, Wells, Carlin and West Wendover have passed ordinances to allow cannabis businesses to operate.

In December of 2019, a dispensary opened in West Wendover.

In April of 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Elko Band Council of the Te-Moak Tribe of the Western Shoshone Tribal Nation opened a state-regulated dispensary on tribal land on the north side of the City of Elko. Newe Cannabis features a drive-through window, and business is reportedly brisk.

The town of Jackpot, in Elko County, is on the very northeastern corner of Nevada, some 70 miles north of Wells. As the name implies, casinos have traditionally sustained the economy of Jackpot, but business closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have sent the town of 1,100 residents into an economic nose dive.

On July 1, Monica Burt and Teresa Hugill, both members of the Jackpot Town Advisory Board, asked Elko County Commissioners to allow a dispensary in Jackpot to stave off the effects of the severe economic downturn.

Jackpot is the county’s largest unincorporated community but has no law-making ability of its own and must abide by County law. The 5-member Town Advisory Board voted unanimously in approving a formal request to the Elko County Commission for a

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