Senate bill paves way for medical marijuana shops

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm •  Published: March 29, 2013

But opponents contend the increased fees favor big businesses and squash opportunities for private citizens seeking to get involved.

Albeit unfortunate, that fact is likely unavoidable due to the tense legal environment surrounding medicinal marijuana, Segerblom said.

"This is a big business and an ordinary person couldn't manage it, wouldn't have the capital to buy the equipment," Segerblom said. "People have to have a lot of money, and it's sad, but I don't think a lot of these home growers are going to be able to participate."

He added that federal intervention is unlikely because President Obama isn't likely to "go backward" on the issue.

Law enforcement representatives stressed the need for specific regulations dealing with security of the facilities and cautioned about possible federal action.

Committee members responded that the bill does not create dispensaries, but allows for dispensaries to open if operators want to take on the risks therein.

Others asked lawmakers to clear records of registered medical marijuana users who have had run-ins with the law since 2000.

"Let them get jobs again," said Cindy Brown, who testified from Las Vegas. "We have suffered greatly to have access to this product and to get the health benefits."

After the meeting, Segerblom told The Associated Press that a vote will happen before the deadline for bills to clear committee in two weeks.

"We're going to get this done, because that's what we're supposed to do," said Sen. Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas.

For the Nevadans who have been prescribed a drug without access to it, the wait may almost be over.