Nevada judge aims to coordinate hearing pot license lawsuits

April 15, 2019
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FILE - In this April 20, 2018, file photo, a customer shops for marijuana at the Exhale Nevada dispensary in Las Vegas. Complaints that the state releases no information about who applies for and receives dispensary licenses in Nevada's booming retail marijuana business are spurring lawsuits and legislative proposals that appear poised to push the process public. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A judge says she’ll coordinate the handling of seven lawsuits filed by dozens of companies trying to get the state to disclose the criteria officials use to award lucrative marijuana dispensary licenses.

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Monday pushed back a scheduling hearing one week to get attorneys for all the cases together.

She plans later to hear arguments on a request to freeze, at least temporarily, the issuing of a second wave of cannabis licenses that state tax officials approved in December.

Companies accuse the state of improperly choosing winners and losers from 462 applicants for 61 new dispensary, cultivation, laboratory and production licenses.

The court challenges come with the state Legislature considering new laws allowing the release of marijuana dispensary application information now labeled confidential.