ELKO, Nev. — Two competing sites for marijuana dispensaries in Jackpot, Nevada, advanced this month as Elko County Commissioners approved one rezoning request and county planning commissioners agreed to hear a second request next month.
County commissioners approved a zoning change for Thrive Cannabis Marketplace’s potential location on Jan. 6. The planning commission voted Thursday to hold a public hearing on a request from Scott Matthews to rezone the existing Stateline Liquor Store in Jackpot.
Both locations are along U.S. Highway 93, not far from the Idaho-Nevada border about 45 miles south of Twin Falls.
Jackpot has suffered economically because of COVID-19 and is looking at marijuana sales to give the town a boost. County commissioners approved an ordinance in November allowing sales, despite opposition from Twin Falls County officials.
Elko County’s senior planner, Corey Rice, told the planning commission this week that Matthews was “very confident he would obtain a license to sell cannabis.”
Matthews owns a retail marijuana store in Oregon. His company is called 420ville.
Matthews said in November he was working toward opening a marijuana dispensary at the liquor store, which he said was purchased with that in mind. The liquor store would become the cannabis outlet, and a new liquor store would be constructed.
Thrive’s property is a few blocks farther from the Idaho border. Spence Property Group sought the rezoning of 20,678 square feet of land across from the Four Jacks hotel and casino property for Thrive, which would lease the site from Spence Property for a retail marijuana store. Thrive is based in Las Vegas.
The question of whether both 420ville and Thrive could receive licenses from the state to sell recreation and medicinal marijuana in Jackpot may be up to the state’s new Cannabis Compliance Board, which delayed action into 2021, according to Matthews.
The board was formed in July 2020 to take over regulation of the industry from the Nevada Department of Taxation.
Thrive has a retail cannabis license for Carlin that could be switched to Jackpot. The county planning commission split on the rezoning on a 3-3 vote, and Rice said those voting against were voting because of their opposition to marijuana dispensaries rather on the merits of the zoning change itself.
Barton’s Club 93, which is located closer to the Matthews site, opposed Thrive’s rezoning in advance of their appeal to Elko County Commissioners, according to a Dec. 14 letter from attorney Richard Barrows.
“Let me be clear that Barton’s Club 93 supports a retail cannabis dispensary in Jackpot. In fact, I appeared on behalf of Barton’s at your earlier meeting and spoke in favor of passing the cannabis ordinance,” Barrows wrote.
“Rather, the Barton’s opposition to this application is limited to the location of the property,” he added, pointing out that children live at the nearby trailer park and that the dispensary would be near a U.S. Post Office and an elementary school.
At the Jan. 6 county meeting, Rice said the state has specific rules about marijuana dispensary locations, including that they must be more than 1,000 feet from a school, but there are no stipulations regarding location near residential areas.
County Commissioner Cliff Eklund said he had received an email expressing concern about Thrive’s planned location because it was near a school and in a residential area, but Rice said the nearby mobile home park already is zoned commercial and the school is outside the 1,000-foot limit.