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No action taken on proposal for fifth dispensary

November 24, 2018

NEEDLES — Don’t expect to see a fifth cannabis dispensary in the community anytime soon.

Councilor Tom Darcy brought the idea before the Needles City Council in their regular meeting of Nov. 13. Speaking by teleconference, Darcy pointed to the high volume of traffic passing through Needles on Interstate 40, Arizona and U.S. Hwy. 95, and said there are dispensaries immediately at hand if one approaches from the east or north but there is no retail facility on the west end.

“We’re going to get 10 percent of the sales of that marijuana,” he said: “If we’re in the game let’s make as much money as we can.”

The crux of the opposition to the idea was four is enough.

Rick Daniels, city manager, said there were six dispensaries in 2010. That dropped to four by 2015. The city’s current ordinance controlling dispensaries doesn’t provide for any more, he continued; an ordinance amendment would have to be created and thought given as to how to award an additional spot.

Councilor Tona Belt commented that, for a town of 5,000, four dispensaries are plenty.

Councilor Shawn Gudmundson added that if someone wanted to purchase the product they’d find it.

Vice Mayor Jeff Williams said that, being a capitalist, he wasn’t opposed to another dispensary but thought the city would find it difficult to figure out who would get that fifth dispensary.

A dispensary owner in the audience addressed council and crowd on behalf of all four, saying a fifth would only take away from their current sales. Another dispensary operator reported hers was running at less than capacity and that the facility would get bigger and hire more if demand increased.

A former operator, who had a dispensary along Needles Highway between 2012 and 2015, said he’d shut it down because the market was slow but if council did allow another he should get first consideration.

The item was allowed to die for lack of a motion.

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