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Elko commissioners take next step toward approving Jackpot marijuana dispensary
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Elko commissioners take next step toward approving Jackpot marijuana dispensary

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Jackpot struggles

More than a dozen families — a large number in a town of about 900 people — have moved away from Jackpot since the start of the pandemic. 

ELKO, Nev. — The Elko County Commission accepted a business impact statement regarding a proposed ordinance that, if approved, would allow for the sale of recreational marijuana in the border town of Jackpot.

A draft of the proposed ordinance was emailed and mailed to the Jackpot Advisory Board, Jackpot businesses and marijuana businesses that had expressed interest in establishing a cannabis business in the town on the Nevada-Idaho border.

There were 28 mailings sent, and Elko County received four responses. Two of the responses were from area businesses and two were from the cannabis industry.

“It does appear that the comments that came back were all positive,” Deputy Elko County District Attorney Rand Greenburg told the commission during its regular meeting Wednesday. “I did not see any negative (comments).”

The Elko Daily Free Press reported in September that Elko County Commissioners voted 4-1 to advance an ordinance to its second reading. The ordinance would allow for sale of recreational marijuana in Jackpot.

The commission tabled the ordinance in early August, citing concerns that the project seems rushed.

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It was during the September meeting that a proposed business application fee for marijuana dispensaries was set at $20,000, with an annual renewal fee of $10,000.

According to the business impact statement, the direct effects of a dispensary in Jackpot would be a boost in community funding, as well as drawing people to Jackpot, which could potentially bring further business growth to the area.

The indirect effects outlined in the statement include increased traffic through the Jackpot community, with additional public safety enforcement being required. It is estimated that the additional safety personnel will cost between $125,000 and $200,000 annually.

Money generated by the license fee will be deposited into the Jackpot general fund, while the money generated by a 3% tax on gross revenue will go to the Elko County general fund to support the additional safety personnel.

Commission Chair Demar Dahl said he recently participated in a television news interview in Twin Falls, and was told that the Elko County Commission would be receiving a letter from the Twin Falls County Commission asking them to reconsider the dispensary. Twin Falls is about 47 miles north of Jackpot.

“They don’t want it on their border,” Dahl said.

Commissioners Jon Karr and Delmo Andreozzi both said they had received a copy of that letter.

An additional reading of the ordinance will be held at a later date.

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