The cost of getting into the cannabis business in the state of Nevada can be very hefty. Any interested applicants must be aware that setting up in the state requires personal and financial background checks, loads of paperwork, the hiring of an attorney and a variety of other tasks. It also requires an initial application fee of $250,000 to gain the right to move forward. This initial application fee could be the primary reason that some in the Las Vegas valley have chosen to set up shop illegally.
On September 19th 2017, Las Vegas Metro Police raided Elevate Medical Pharmacy. During the raid LVMP seized approximately 25lbs. of cannabis flower, 36 lbs. of edibles and 80 grams of concentrate wax. Clayton Bernard, age 36, was arrested for being the head of the operation. According to LVMP the tip was called into the Nevada Tax Department, who oversees cannabis regulations & operational procedures. The Clark County officials then reached out to LV Metro PD.
While being arrested, Bernard claimed that he was not a US citizen and did not understand his rights. He also made a claim that he was trying to start his own country. Bernard, who goes by the name of “Raz,” told police that Elevate Medical Pharmacy did not have anything to do with cannabis sales despite the discovery made at the location on 2951 Westwood Drive in Las Vegas. The establishment never had a license to sell cannabis but the state does provide a link for those wondering if the dispensary they visit is legitimate on marijuana.nv.gov. Even though recreational cannabis sales are now legal in Nevada, if caught selling illegally you’ll still receive a felony charge.
There had been other illegal operations in the Las Vegas valley in the past with most of those occurrences involving cannabis delivery services. Despite these issues, it had been some time since a cannabis operation had been shut down for being unlicensed. With the Elevate incident, it is doubtful any new illegal dispensaries will be popping up any time soon. With the cost of being caught, it’d be just about the same amount to start a legal operation.
By Tracy Jerome Chisley (@PoeticPanther)
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